It seems the African National Congress (ANC) top six leadership’s efforts to persuade former president Jacob Zuma into testifying before the State Capture Commission, were completely fruitless. Zuma is forging ahead with his bid to avoid appearing before the commission, or at least its chairperson Raymond Zondo.

The party’s top six, which includes: ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy president David Mabuza, secretary-general Ace Magashule, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, treasurer Paul Mashatile and chairperson Gwede Mantashe, held a meeting with Zuma which lasted from 10:30 until 17:30 on Monday, 8 March 2021,

Due to logistical reasons, the meeting could not take place at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters and had to be held virtually.

Ace Magashule: The ANC to give Zuma some space

Magashule briefed media on the outcomes of the meeting later in the evening and said they had agreed to give Jacob Zuma some space.

“Comrade Zuma made a very extensive presentation on what has prompted his decision not to appear before what you term the Zondo commission, and he also talked about his rights as enshrined in the constitution of SA and the rights of all South Africans. And we all agreed that there has been no intention to undermine the constitution of SA. Comrade Zuma told the top six that he believes he has been subjected to unfair persecution and prosecution over two decades,” he said.

“He emphasised that as law abiding he respects the constitution and that he too is entitled to basic rights as enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Africa, under the Bill of Rights”

Magashule further said that as the ANC, their discussions centered on promoting unity in the country as well as the party. While some might have expected the ANC top six to read Zuma the riot act, what occurred was instead “engagements” which the party said there would be more of, in the near future.

“Top six agreed that we have heard Zuma, we have engaged, we all very happy with the engagements, the discussions and all of us are saying we need to ensure that we build unity of SA, the unity of our structures, all of us must unite, build the ANC and continue respecting the constitution and the bill of rights,” Magashule further said.

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Presh JM Reporter

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