Sources claim Malema/Zuma meeting has been in the works for months
Share this article:
Johannesburg - South Africa and social media were stunned last night, when EFF leader Julius Malema took to Twitter to ask former president Jacob Zuma to meet him for tea.
Malema, a close ally during Zuma’s rise to power, will be meeting the former president at the weekend. The two political heavyweights haven't had a cordial meeting since Malema’s expulsion from the ANC in 2012.
The coordinator of the meeting is Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina. Masina couldn’t hold back his glee and also took to Twitter to confirm the meeting, saying: “I’m sure the two men, who contributed to the constitutional being of SA, will provide a great insight to how mature our democracy has become”.
The meeting is said to “create synergy” between the two. Last year, Malema told Independent Media that “if the onslaught against Zuma continued they (society) would have to mobilise for Zuma. Sources close to the “Zuma camp” told The Star that the meeting had been a consideration for months.
Masina, a strong detractor of President Cyril Ramaphosa, is said to have unsuccessfully attempted to facilitate several meetings before.
The political “father-and-son-turned-foes” will meet in Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. Speaking to The Star, Zuma’s office has confirmed the meeting, calling it a “peace and destiny” meeting.
Meanwhile, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule told the media on Wednesday that people should just leave Zuma alone.
“Leave comrade Zuma alone, just leave him. What is the problem? What has Zuma done now? I can’t talk on behalf of president Zuma … President Zuma is a South African, he has rights, so you can’t want me to talk on behalf of president Zuma.”
He added: “Why should we suspend a person who believes in what he believes in? President Zuma has a right to do whatever he wants to do … So, I don’t see what is the issue.”
On Tuesday evening, a day after Zuma issued his statement announcing that he was prepared to be jailed for defying the court, the Zondo Commission issued a statement reminding of his obligation to come forward and give his side of the story.
The commission stopped short of telling Zuma that he could be stripped of the perks he continues to enjoy as a former president.
“It seems that Mr Zuma considers himself to be above the law and the Constitution. The commission reiterates that, in terms of the Constitution, everyone is equal before the law. This constitutional guarantee must be given effect to,” the commission said.
In its counterpunch, the commission said it would lay criminal charges against the former president for defying a summons for him to appear before it, between January 18 and 22 this year.
It reminded him that it has a date with him between February 15 and 19, and should he carry out his threat not to appear, it will take unspecified action.
All these threats from the commission come as Zuma’s family, supporters like the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), RET (Radical Economic Transformation) Forces and Ubumbano Lokuthula pledged their support and backed his defiant stance.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, political parties and non-governmental organisations applauded the commission for laying criminal charges against the former president.
Glynnis Breytenbach, DA shadow minister of justice and correctional services, said urgent steps need to be taken by law enforcement agencies now to ensure that Zuma is compelled to testify during his scheduled appearance. She added that if he is allowed to continue this contemptuous behaviour, it will entrench a perception that he is above the law.