Former president Jacob Zuma. File picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - SUPPORTERS of former president Jacob Zuma in his KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) home province are recruiting people to travel to Johannesburg to back him when he appears before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture next month.

Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus, who is based in Johannesburg, said there was also mobilisation of Zuma’s support in Gauteng.

Zuma will appear before the commission in Parktown between July 15 and 18. He would be expected to answer to allegations against him in connection with his role in the capture of state entities and the Guptas promising Cabinet posts to certain ANC leaders during his administration.

KZN-based Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Champion chairperson Nkosentsha Shezi said his organisation was working on the ground organising support for the man they referred to as the RET father.

“We are organising, but the details are not yet final. We will be meeting this weekend to check on the logistics and other issues. I will give you some of the details on Monday (tomorrow),” said Shezi.

An unsigned message posted on social media read: “To all RET forces, it is with our humbleness to inform you that we encourage all of us to accompany our RET father, former president Jacob Zuma, when he is to appear in the commission.

“It will remind all those that believe in our course of radical economic transformation, free education, expropriation of land without compensation in our country.”

The RET Champion, which includes prominent ANC MPL Bishop Vusi Dube, brings in scores of ANC supporters and ordinary members of the public to Pietermaritzburg when Zuma appears at the high court in connection with his fraud and corruption arms deal charges. Former ministers including Des van Rooyen and Mosebenzi Zwane have made appearance when Zuma has appeared in court.

Shezi said the RET Champion was supporting Zuma “through thick and thin” since he had been a target of people who were against him leading the struggle of black people.

“Ever since Msholozi was removed from power following the allegation that he was corrupt, there is no concrete evidence against him, whether in the Zondo Commission or anywhere.

“There was this well-talked-about Gupta family whose assets were frozen, but the National Prosecuting Authority had failed to defend its case in court and they got their assets back,” said Shezi.

He said Zuma had been subjected to hatred by monopoly capital.

“As forces of the RET, we will back Msholozi to the end because he is facing all this because he is fighting for people’s rights and to transfer the economy from whites to the hands of black people,” said Shezi.

He said he was confident that Zuma would, in Parktown, have the same support he enjoyed whenever he appeared in the high court.

“Yesterday, Msholozi was invited by the ANC Youth League to deliver a lecture in Sophiatown and the venue was fully packed,” he said.

However, Shezi said finance was a challenge when it came to organising transport.

He said the organisation was working on finding sponsors.

“We know that millions of people stand behind Msholozi and his vision for transformation, but there is a problem of resources in terms of transporting people, and all the logistics and RET forces are black people who do not have financial resources.

“I have received a number of requests from ANC branches across KZN. There is also ANC membership throughout the country, and people who are close to the venue will take public transport or drive to show support to Msholozi,” he said.

He said while some would use their own transport to Johannesburg, he hoped that some taxi and bus owners would provide transport for free or at reduced fees. Niehaus, a staunch Zuma backer, said MKMVA members would also be there to support him.

“We support that comrade Zuma has taken the decision to go the commission to give his side of the story.

“We are giving the same support that we have given to him when he appeared in court for a very long and a dragged-out court case,” he said.

Niehaus said mobilising for Zuma support was also gaining momentum in Gauteng as volunteers were working on the ground.

Politics Bureau