Despite chastising protesters for gathering in their thousands at Nkandla over the past week, the Acting ANC Secretary-General Jessie Duarte has confirmed that the NEC is essentially ‘rooting for Jacob Zuma’ – despite his repeated refusal to abide by the laws of the country. Her supportive message comes during a sensitive time for South Africa.
Jacob Zuma court case – latest news and updates
Jacob Zuma is set to attend a virtual session of court on Tuesday, where he will learn if the first of his two rescission appeals have been successful. This really is Msholozi’s last throw of the dice to stay out of jail, and after some overnight confusion, Police Minister Bheki Cele has confirmed that a forcible arrest will likely happen by Thursday.
The former president argues that he has been sentenced to jail without a proper trial. However, his offence – contempt of court – was determined after he missed several key appointments with both the State Capture Inquiry and the Constitutional Court. If Zuma feels his side of the story hasn’t been heard, most of the blame must lie with him.
Jessie Duarte, who is ‘we’?
During the NEC briefing earlier on Tuesday, Jessie Duarte slammed some of her party comrades for ‘organising mass gatherings’ outside of Nkandla. Angered by Zuma’s supporters, the ANC Top Sixer didn’t reserve the same vitriol for uBaba himself, and instead elected to shower the divisive political figure with praise.
Duarte expressed her ‘love’ for Msholozi, and assured the public that he would not be asked to ‘step aside’ as an ANC member, even after a string of legal indiscretions. Cyril Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has gone a whole week without even mentioning his predecessor – and it appears that the party is in no mood to hold Zuma accountable for his behaviour.
“We would hope that comrade Zuma’s legal application to the Constitutional Court will be successful. He is an elder and we love him and respect him. He is still a member of ANC, and he will not be asked to step aside.”