S.Africa Deploys Troops After Six Killed Following Zuma Jailing

People flee from the Springfiled Park Mall in Durban on July 12, 2021. – South Africa’s army said Monday it was deploying troops to two provinces, including its economic hub of Johannesburg, to help police tackle deadly violence and looting as unrest sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma entered its fourth day. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

 

South Africa said Monday it was deploying troops to two provinces, including Johannesburg, after unrest sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma led to six deaths and widespread looting.

Overwhelmed police are facing mobs who have ransacked stores, carting away anything from boxes of alcohol to beds, refrigerators and bath tubs.

Six people have died, some with gunshot wounds, and 219 people have been arrested, according to a police tally issued before the army deployed.

Troops will “assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces… to quell the unrest that has gripped both provinces in the last few days,” the armed forces said in a statement.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who at the weekend called for calm, is expected to addess the nation later Monday, his office said.

The violence raged as the Constitutional Court was hearing an application to review its landmark decision to jail Zuma for contempt of court. An announcement is expected later.

The country’s top court on June 29 slapped Zuma with a 15-month term for snubbing a probe into the corruption that stained his nine years in power.

Zuma began the sentence last Thursday but is seeking to have the ruling set aside.

“This court made fundamentally rescindable errors,” Zuma’s lawyer Dali Mpofu argued in an on-line hearing before nine of the court’s 11 judges.

Zuma had been treated unfairly and his “right to mitigation was limited,” he said.

But one of the judges, Steven Majiedt, bluntly said Zuma had been convicted “because he disobeyed the order of this court.”

Mpofu responded that Zuma was being “punished for more than the disobedience” of a court order.

Despite his reputation for graft and scandal, the 79-year-old former anti-apartheid fighter remains popular among many poor South Africans.

– Looting –

The epicentre of the unrest is Zuma’s home region, the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Shortly before the military’s announcement, troops were seen on the streets of its capital Pietermaritzburg and smoke billowed from the roof of a large shopping mall. Banks, shops and fuel stations in the city were shut.

A retail shop in Durban was looted Monday morning while in Eshowe, a town near Zuma’s Nkandla home, police fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds after a supermarket was ransacked.

In Johannesburg, in Gauteng province, an AFP photographer saw a corpse at one site, although the cause of the death was not immediately known.

A police helicopter hovered over the Johannesburg suburb of Soweto, where looters casually made off with giant TV sets, microwave ovens, clothes and linen.

A mall in Johanesburg’s upmarket Rosebank suburb closed early following “a tipoff that the looters are on their way,” a security guard told AFP.

On the sidewalks, workers queued up to catch commuter mini-bus to go back home.

The unrest began on Friday, taking the form of protests triggered by Zuma’s detention.

But looting swiftly took over, reflecting hardship in a country hit by catastrophic unemployment and a toughening of anti-Covid restrictions.

– Ramaphosa appeal –

Once dubbed the “Teflon president,” Zuma started serving the jail term after handing himself in to authorities as a deadline for surrender loomed.

On Friday he lost a petition at the Pietermaritzburg High Court to have his case thrown out.

The court said Zuma’s claims about his health were not “supported by any evidence.”

The anti-graft panel is probing the massive siphoning off of state assets that occurred during Zuma’s 2009-2018 presidency.

He testified just once, in July 2019, but then swiftly withdrew his cooperation.

Under the terms of his sentence, Zuma could be back home long before Christmas as he would be eligible for parole in less than four months.

He is due back in court on July 19 for a separate case where he faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering in an arms procurement scandal dating to 1999, when he was vice president.

AFP

South Africa Deploys Troops As Unrest Spirals After Zuma Jailing

Members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) aim at looters following sporadic looting and vandalism outside the Lotsoho Mall in Katlehong township, East of Johannesburg, on July 12, 2021. 

 

South Africa’s army said Monday it was deploying troops to two provinces, including its economic hub of Johannesburg, to help crush mob violence and looting as unrest sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma entered its fourth day.

“The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance,” the military said in a statement.

Personnel will “assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces respectively to quell the unrest that has gripped both Provinces in the last few days,” it said.

The violence raged as the Constitutional Court was reviewing a landmark decision to jail Zuma for contempt of court. An announcement is expected later.

The country’s top court on June 29 slapped Zuma with a 15-month term for snubbing a probe into the corruption that stained his nine years in power.

Zuma began the sentence last Thursday but is seeking to have the ruling set aside.

“What we are saying is that this court made fundamentally rescindable errors,” Zuma’s lawyer Dali Mpofu argued in an on-line hearing before nine of the court’s 11 judges.

Zuma had been treated unfairly and his “right to mitigation was limited,” he said.

But one of the judges, Steven Majiedt, bluntly said Zuma had been convicted “because he disobeyed the order of this court.”

Despite his reputation for graft and scandal, the 79-year-old former anti-apartheid fighter remains popular among many poor South Africans.

Looting

South African Police Services (SAPS) members arrest looters at the Lotsoho Mall in Katlehong township, east of Johannesburg, on July 12, 2021. Several shops are damaged and cars burnt in Johannesburg, following a night of violence. Police are on the scene trying to control further protests. It is unclear if this is linked to sporadic protests following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.
Phill Magakoe / AFP

 

The epicentre of the unrest is Zuma’s home region, the southeastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Shortly before the military’s announcement, troops were seen on the streets of its capital Pietermaritzburg and smoke billowed from the roof of a large shopping mall.

A retail shop in Durban was looted Monday morning while in Eshowe, a town near Zuma’s Nkandla home, police fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds after a supermarket was ransacked.

In Johannesburg, in Gauteng province, an AFP photographer saw a corpse at one site. The cause of the death was not immediately known. Sections of a major highway were closed.

Police said more than 200 people had been arrested.

Some of the protests appear to have been triggered by Zuma’s detention, but they are also associated with grinding unemployment and hardship inflicted by a toughening of anti-Covid measures.

 

Ramaphosa appeal

In this file photo taken on March 22, 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (C) conducts a media briefing at the end of a meeting with various business leaders and political party leaders on matters relating to the COVID-19 outbreak at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Phill Magakoe / AFP
 Phill Magakoe / AFP

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday called on dissenters to protest peacefully.

“While there are those who may be hurt and angry at this moment, there can never be any justification for such violent, destructive and disruptive actions,” he said.

Once dubbed the “Teflon president,” Zuma started serving the jail term after handing himself in to authorities as a deadline for surrender loomed.

On Friday he lost a petition at the Pietermaritzburg High Court to have his case thrown out.

The court said it was not empowered to interfere with rulings set down by the Constitutional Court and that Zuma’s claims about his health were not “supported by any evidence.”

The anti-graft panel is probing the massive siphoning off of state assets that occurred during Zuma’s 2009-2018 presidency.

He testified just once, in July 2019, but then swiftly withdrew his cooperation, saying he was offended at being treated as an “accused” and not as a witness.

Under the terms of his sentence, Zuma could be back home before Christmas as he would be eligible for parole in less than four months.

He separately faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering in an arms procurement scandal dating to 1999, when he was vice president.

-AFP

South Africa’s Top Court To Review Zuma Jail Term

In this file photo taken on July 27, 2018, former South African president Jacob Zuma stands in the dock of the High Court of Pietermaritzburg during his hearing over 16 corruption charges. Former South African president Jacob Zuma must pay back state funds and cover his own costs, a court ruled on December 13, 2018, leaving him facing massive legal bills as he fights graft charges.
Phill MAGAKOE / POOL / AFP

 

 

South African ex-president Jacob Zuma will on Monday ask the nation’s top court to let him out of jail by rescinding its 15-month sentence for snubbing anti-graft investigators.

The Constitutional Court on June 29 slapped Zuma with the prison stretch for refusing to appear before a probe into the corruption that mired his nine years in power.

Zuma is seeking to have that ruling set aside on the grounds that it was made in his absence.

Should the bid fail, Zuma’s team will seek to convince the judges that jail time is not the appropriate punishment for this instance of contempt, due to reasons including the implications for Zuma’s health, according to an information handout for media from the court on Saturday.

Zuma, 79, is also asking to be released from the Estcourt prison in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province on the grounds of his age and ailing health, adding that the ongoing pandemic means he is not a flight risk.

The man once dubbed the “Teflon president”, spent his first night in jail on Thursday after handing himself in to authorities following hours of drama and suspense.

His lawyers had also petitioned the Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal to stave off imprisonment. But on Friday it rejected the case, saying it lacked jurisdiction over the matter and Zuma’s claims about his health were “not supported by any evidence.”

The former president testified to the commission once in July 2019, but then swiftly withdrew his cooperation, saying he was offended by being treated as an “accused” and not as a witness.

He returned in November 2020, without uttering a word, and missed several subsequent appointments by evading his summonses on various grounds, including medical reasons, lack of funds and his request to have the chairman of the commission, then-deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, recuse himself.

If Zuma is to serve the full term, he could still see himself back home long before year-end as he would be eligible for parole in less than four months.

Meanwhile, sporadic violence has erupted in the country, with dozens arrested after looting in KwaZulu-Natal and in the economic capital Johannesburg.

AFP

South Africa’s Zuma Eligible For Parole In Under Four Months

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 04, 2021 Former South African president Jacob Zuma addresses the media in his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma handed himself in to police late on July 7, 2021 to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, his foundation said.
Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma, who on Thursday began a 15-month sentence for contempt, will be eligible to be released on parole in just under four months, the authorities said.

Under the country’s correctional regulations, “the former president will be eligible for parole once a quarter of his sentence has been served,” Justice Minister Ronald Ramola told reporters.

Zuma “will be afforded dignity throughout his term of incarceration,” he said, speaking in front of Estcourt prison in KwaZulu-Natal province.

Zuma handed himself in overnight to the police to begin serving the sentence at the jail, which is located in a small farming town.

The sentence was handed down by the Constitutional Court on June 29 after Zuma refused an order to appear before anti-graft investigators.

Zuma, who is in “good spirits” will be placed in isolation for the first 14 days in jail in line with Covid-19 protocols, the minister said, adding that he would not receive “any special treatment.”

-AFP

South Africa’s Ex-President Zuma Starts Serving Jail Term For Contempt

South African police Service (SAPS) vehicles are seen outside former South African president Jacob Zuma’s house in Nkandla on July 7, 2021. In a historic ruling, the Constitutional Court handed Zuma a 15-month sentence for contempt of court for snubbing anti-graft investigators. PHOTO: NKANDLA, SOUTH AFRICA/AFP

 

Former president Jacob Zuma turned himself into prison early Thursday to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of the country’s highest court, officials said.

Prison authorities confirmed that Zuma “has been admitted to start serving a 15 months sentence at Estcourt Correctional Centre” in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

It is the first time a former president has been jailed in post-apartheid South Africa.

His turning himself in after days of refusing to do so brought an end to an impasse that had gripped the country, which is also battling a brutal third wave of Covid-19.

The sentence handed to Zuma by the Constitutional Court last week for snubbing anti-graft investigators also set a benchmark for the continent, by jailing a former head of state for refusing to respond to a corruption probe.

 In this file photo taken on July 04, 2021, Former South African president Jacob Zuma addresses the media in his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. PHOTO: Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

Police had earlier on Wednesday warned they were prepared to arrest Zuma by a midnight deadline to enforce the ruling unless the top court instructed otherwise.

But in the end, the former leader decided to make his own way to prison.

Just minutes before the deadline expired, his foundation tweeted that Zuma had “decided to comply with the incarceration order” and hand himself to a correctional facility.

A convoy of cars believed to be carrying Zuma drove out of his homestead at high speed about 40 minutes before the cut-off time.

Zuma’s daughter Dudu Zuma-Sambudla tweeted that he was “still in high spirits” and that “he said that he hopes they still have his same overalls from Robben Island… We salute dad!”

 

– Corruption scandals –

Zuma had mounted a last-ditch legal defence and refused to turn himself in.

He had pleaded with the court for an 11th-hour reprieve, requesting that it suspend its arrest orders until all legal processes were finalised — under the ruling, police were given three days to arrest him if he failed to surrender.

Zuma’s first application to halt his arrest was heard on Tuesday but the judgement was reserved until Friday.

Separately, he has pleaded with the Constitutional Court to reconsider and rescind its jail order.

That challenge will be heard next Monday.

Zuma, 79, was forced out of office in 2018 and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa after a nine-year tenure stained by corruption scandals and the taint of cronyism.

Critics nicknamed him the “Teflon president” for his perceived ability to sidestep justice.

But his fortunes changed on June 29 when the court issued its damning judgement against him for contempt.

Zuma had refused to obey a court order to appear before a commission probing the siphoning-off of state assets under his presidency.

 

– Clout –

Prison officials said Zuma checked into the prison, renovated in 2019, some 200 kilometres away from his Nkandla homestead at around 1:00 am (2300 GMT).

At the weekend he defiantly declared he was prepared to go prison, even though “sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic, at my age, is the same as sentencing me to death.”

That was after he had told his supporters that there would be chaos if police “dared” arrest him.

Despite his tarnished reputation, the former president carries substantial weight among officials and grassroots members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The former herdboy was the ANC’s intelligence chief during the armed struggle against apartheid and spent 10 years in jail on notorious Robben Island.

Despite its internal tensions and divisions, the ANC said it would not interfere with the judiciary processes enveloping Zuma.

Zuma has also been accused of involvement in a bribery affair dating back more than 20 years.

He faces 16 charges of fraud, graft, and racketeering relating to a 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats, and military gear from five European arms firms for 30 billion rand, then the equivalent of nearly $5 billion.

AFP

UPDATED: South Africa’s Ex-President Zuma Goes To Jail

In this file photo taken on May 17, 2021, Former South African President Jacob Zuma greets supporters in the gallery of the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on May 17, 2021. PHOTO: ROGAN WARD / POOL / AFP

 

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma turned himself into prison late Wednesday to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, his foundation said.

In a historic ruling, the Constitutional Court last week handed Zuma a 15-month term for snubbing anti-graft investigators.

Police had earlier on Wednesday warned they were prepared to arrest the former president by a midnight deadline to enforce the ruling, unless the top court instructed otherwise.

But Zuma decided to make his way to an unnamed prison in his home province of Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN).

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“Please be advised that (ex) President Zuma has decided to comply with the incarceration order,” the foundation tweeted.

“He is on his way to hand himself into a Correctional Services Facility in KZN,” it said, just minutes before the deadline expired.

A convoy of cars believed to be carrying Zuma drove out of his homestead at high speed about 40 minutes before the cut-off time for him to give himself up.

Zuma had mounted a last-ditch legal defence and refused to turn himself in by Sunday night as the court-ordered. Under the ruling, police were given three days to arrest him if he failed to surrender.

He had pleaded with the court for an 11th-hour reprieve.

In an urgent request to the Constitutional Court late Wednesday, Zuma’s lawyers asked it to “direct the suspension of its orders… to prevent our client from being arrested prior to all legal processes being finalised”.

Zuma’s first application to halt his arrest was heard on Tuesday but the judgement was reserved until Friday.

Separately, he has pleaded with the Constitutional Court to reconsider and rescind its jail order. That challenge will be heard next Monday.

Zuma, 79, was forced out of office in 2018 and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa after a nine-year tenure stained by corruption scandals and the taint of cronyism.

Critics nicknamed him the “Teflon president” for his perceived ability to sidestep justice.

But his fortunes changed on June 29 when the court issued its damning judgement against him for contempt.

Zuma had refused to obey a court order to appear before a commission probing the siphoning off of state assets under his presidency.

 

– Clout –

Despite his tarnished reputation, the former president carries substantial weight among officials and grassroots members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

At the weekend he told his supporters that there would be chaos if police “dared” arrest him.

The former herdboy was the ANC’s intelligence chief during the armed struggle against apartheid and spent 10 years in jail on notorious Robben Island.

Despite its internal tensions, the ANC said it would not interfere with the judiciary processes enveloping Zuma.

Party spokesman Pule Made told reporters earlier that “we respect the independence of the judiciary”.

Zuma has also been accused of involvement in a bribery affair dating back more than 20 years.

He faces 16 charges of fraud, graft, and racketeering relating to a 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats, and military gear from five European arms firms for 30 billion rand, then the equivalent of nearly $5 billion.

AFP

South Africa’s President, Zuma Surrenders To Authorities

File photo of former South African president Jacob Zuma addresses the media in his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal on July 4, 2021.  Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma handed himself in to police late Wednesday to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, his foundation said.

“Please be advised that President Zuma has decided to comply with the incarceration order. He is on his way to hand himself into a Correctional Services Facility in KZN” (Kwazulu-Natal province), the foundation tweeted.

In a historic ruling, the Constitutional Court last week handed Zuma a 15-month term for snubbing anti-graft investigators.

Police had earlier on Wednesday warned they were prepared to arrest the former president by a midnight deadline to enforce the ruling, unless the top court instructed otherwise.

A convoy of cars believed to be carrying Zuma drove out of his homestead about 40 minutes before the cut-off for him to give himself up.

Zuma had mounted a last-ditch legal defence and refused to turn himself in by Sunday night as the court ordered. Under the ruling, police were given three days to arrest him if he failed to surrender.

In a letter earlier on Wednesday he had pleaded with the court for an 11th-hour reprieve.

AFP

S.Africa Police Won’t Arrest Zuma Until Legal Challenge Is Over

Former South African President Jacob Zuma arrives ahead of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on May 26, 2021. PHILL MAGAKOE / POOL / AFP

 

South Africa’s police say they will not make any move to arrest ex-president Jacob Zuma, who has been handed a 15-month jail term for contempt, until he has fully exhausted his legal battle against the sentence, a document showed Tuesday.

Zuma has mounted a two-pronged last-ditch attempt to avoid jail after the Constitutional Court, the country’s top judicial authority, slapped him with the sentence last week.

He was told to turn himself in by midnight on Sunday, failing which police would be instructed to arrest him within the following three days.

On Friday, Zuma, 79, rushed to court seeking to halt the execution of the arrest order. His application is due to be heard on Tuesday in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

He has separately pleaded with the Constitutional Court to reconsider and rescind its jail order. That challenge will be heard on July 12.

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In a letter seen on Tuesday, lawyers for the police have written to Constitutional Court saying they will pause on the order to arrest Zuma given the “unique situation presented by the developments and the legal matrix involved.”

“Out of respect (for) the unfolding litigation processes, (the police will) hold further actions they are expected to take in terms of the honourable court’s orders in abeyance, pending the finalisation of the litigation,” the letter says.

Zuma was ordered to be jailed for disobeying a court order to appear before a commission probing massive state corruption under his nine-year tenure.

– ‘No one wants jail’ –

In a show of solidarity, hundreds of maskless supporters have descended on his rural home in Nkandla, in southeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province, in blatant violation of Covid-19 restrictions that have banned gatherings.

On Sunday Zuma defiantly declared he was prepared to go prison, even though “sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic, at my age, is the same as sentencing me to death.”

A former fighter against white-minority government in South Africa who spent 10 years in prison Robben Island, Zuma comparing the country’s’ judiciary to “apartheid-type rule”.

“I am facing a long detention without trial,” he said.

The Zuma case has fuelled tensions within the ruling African National Congress (ANC), where the former president still commands much support among the grass roots.

The ANC on Monday condemned the crowds gathering in Nkandla but said it understood why Zuma was exploring every possible channel.

“No one wants to go to jail… I think that (ex-) president Zuma is exploring every legal avenue that is available to reduce or to remove the custodial sentence that has been put on him,” said its deputy secretary general, Jesse Duarte.

“In the view of the ANC, we respect the rule of law, we believe that the judiciary must be left to make its own decisions,” she told reporters following a special meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee on Monday.

“We would hope that comrade Zuma’s court application will be successful,” she added.

AFP

Suspense As South African Police Await New Orders On Zuma’s Arrest

Former South African President Jacob Zuma arrives ahead of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on May 26, 2021. PHILL MAGAKOE / POOL / AFP

 

In a case that has left the country agog, South Africa’s police minister on Monday said he was awaiting court instructions on whether to arrest ex-president Jacob Zuma, who has been given a 15-month jail term for contempt.

The country’s top court last week convicted Zuma for contempt and ordered him to turn himself in by end of Sunday to start his sentence. If he failed to do so, the police would be told to arrest him within the following three days.

But Zuma on Friday lodged a last-ditch application to halt the execution of the arrest order. The application will be heard in a high court on Tuesday.

“The police were given the timeline of Wednesday 12 midnight,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told reporters on Monday.

“We hope that we will be getting the clarification, because when we were given the instruction there were no other legal activities taking place,” he said.

In responding documents to the court, the investigators slammed Zuma’s move as a further bid to jam the judicial machinery.

His application was “a continuation of a pattern of abuse of the court process,” they said. “Courts should not entertain such abuse any longer.”

Zuma, 79, has separately pleaded with the Constitutional Court to reconsider and rescind its order to jail him. That challenge will be heard on July 12.

Zuma’s case has transfixed South Africa, despite a raging coronavirus pandemic that has made it the worst-hit country on the continent.

New daily infections hit record highs of 26,000 cases at the weekend, fuelled by the contagious Delta variant.

Supporters have rallied outside Zuma’s rural home at Nkandla in Kwa-Zulu Natal, defying a nationwide ban on all gatherings.

– ‘Treasonous’ –

Hundreds of followers converged at his home on Sunday, dressed in the regalia of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party regalia or in traditional Zulu warrior costumes.

Wearing a black shirt embroidered with ANC colours, a maskless Zuma defiantly addressed the crowd before breaking into his signature song, the liberation struggle anthem “Awlethu Mshini Wam,” which translates to ‘Bring me my machine gun.’

Despite the breach of Covid regulations, police did not intervene to disperse the crowd.

Cele said they had decided to act cautiously, in the belief that as many as a hundred of the supporters had firearms, and there was a need to avoid “bloodshed”.

A Zulu elder and opposition politician Mangosuthu Buthelezi, 92, lambasted the crowds congregating in the midst of a pandemic as “the greatest irresponsibility of all” adding what was going on in Nkandla was “treasonous”.

“With all due respect for the sympathy people may have for Mr Zuma’s plight, challenging the state and risking lives is unacceptable,” said Buthelezi.

– ‘Apartheid-type rule’ –

Speaking from Nkandla on Sunday night, the defiant Zuma did not hold back, lashing out the judiciary once more.

“I’m very concerned that South Africa is fast sliding back to apartheid-type rule,” he told the crowd.

“I am facing a long detention without trial,” he said. “Sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic, at my age, is the same as sentencing me to death.”

His nine years in power were stained by scandal and allegations of graft, ending disastrously in 2018 when he was forced out by the ANC and replaced as president by Cyril Ramaphosa.

Despite his notoriety, Zuma commands support among many grassroots ANC members, who recall his sacrifice in the struggle against apartheid, in which he spent 10 years in prison on Robben Island.

Fearing a deepening internal rift, the ANC’s national executive committee postponed a scheduled meeting at the weekend and was to hold special talks on the Zuma crisis on Monday.

Analyst Oscar van Heerden, who is also deputy vice-chancellor of University of Fort Fare, said Zuma’s case will “deepen the cracks within the ANC. Currently there are many fractions, not just factions”.

But he expects the party’s talks to conclude with a declaration along the lines of “we are all equal before the law,…we support the ruling of the Constitutional Court” and encourage Zuma to adhere to the prescripts of the law.

AFP

Protesters Vow To Make South Africa Ungovernable If Zuma Is Jailed

Supporters gesture as they gather in front of former South African president Jacob Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla on July 4, 2021. Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

Supporters of former South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday vowed to render the country ungovernable if he is jailed.

In a show of force, loyalists clad in their African National Congress (ANC) regalia have been outside their embattled leader’s Nkandla homestead in Kwa-Zulu Natal province for weeks.

Vowing to protect Zuma, the protesters called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down.

“We are here to say Ramaphosa must step down. Must step down”, a visibly angry loyalist said. “As from Monday, we will make the country ungovernable.”

Police, under orders to arrest Zuma if necessary, were stationed across the province on Sunday to control the crowds descending on Nkandla.

Read Also: Jacob Zuma Says He Won’t Turn Himself Into South Africa Authorities

If Zuma fails to turn himself in, police will be given a further three days to arrest him.

Meanwhile, the former president who has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court after he repeatedly refused to give evidence to corruption investigators, told hundreds of supporters camped outside his home that his rights had been violated.

“My constitutional rights were abused” by judges of the country’s constitutional court”, said Zuma.

“No need for me to go to jail today,” he told journalists at his Nkandla homestead, adding “when I saw the police here I wondered how will they get to me, how will they get through all these people”.

“If (Police Minister) Bheki Cele comes here to arrest uBaba (Zuma) he must start with us,” a supporter, Lindokuhle Maphalala, told AFP.

South Africa’s Zuma Mounts Last-Ditch Legal Fight Against Jail Term

In this file photo taken on July 27, 2018 former South African president Jacob Zuma stands in the dock of the High Court of Pietermaritzburg during his hearing over 16 corruption charges. Phill MAGAKOE / POOL / AFP

 

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma on Friday mounted a last-ditch legal bid to avoid prison after the country’s top court ordered him jailed for failing to appear before graft investigators.

In a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court on Tuesday handed Zuma a 15-month term for contempt after he snubbed a probe into the theft of state assets under his tenure.

If the 79-year-old fails to turn himself in by Sunday, police will be given a further three days to arrest him and take him to jail to start the sentence.

As the deadline loomed, Zuma pleaded on Friday that the order be “reconsidered and rescinded.”

“It will not be futile,” Zuma said in papers filed to the court, “to make one last attempt to invite the Constitutional Court to relook its decision and to merely reassess whether it has acted within the Constitution or, erroneously, beyond the powers vested in the court by the Constitution.”

He cited his “own unstable state of health… it is my physical life that the incarceration order threatens.”

He said it was “no exaggeration to label (the ruling) as cruel and degrading punishment.”

In this light, Zuma argued, he believed he was entitled to a court that would examine his request “with dispassionate interest but a keen sense of judicial duty and independence.”

According to a copy of a warrant of committal seen on Friday, Zuma would be taken to Westville Prison in southeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province.

Supporters gathered on Friday outside Zuma’s rural home at Nkandla, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) away, in a show of solidarity.

About two dozen women who said they travelled more than 300 kms overnight from the neighbouring Eastern Cape province camped at the entrance to his home.

“We support Zuma and we want to know what is going to happen with him, which is why we are here,” 43-year-old Cecilia Nongce told AFP, wearing a traditional Nguni blue-and-red blanket to ward off the cold.

“We love Nxamala,” she said in Zulu, referring to Zuma by his clan name, adding that they hoped he would come out to speak to them.

A group of other supporters arrived in two mini-buses waving ANC flags and wearing white T-shirts with the inscription ‘wenzeni uZuma’, Zulu for “What has Zuma done?”

Two tents have been erected to shelter members of the veterans of ANC’s armed struggle wing Umkhonto we Sizwe, who have staunchly stood behind Zuma in recent years.

Loyal following

Zuma’s nine years were stained by scandal and allegations of graft, ending disastrously in 2018 when he was forced out by the ruling ANC and replaced as president by Cyril Ramaphosa.

But he is also charismatic, rising from herdboy to the presidency, and is one of the historic figures in the fight against apartheid, spending 10 years in prison at notorious Robben Island.

He retains a deeply loyal network of lawmakers, officials and grassroots supporters on the left flank of the ANC.

“We will not allow President Zuma to go to jail,” said Carl Niehaus, a close friend of Zuma and a former ANC spokesman. “We will be uncompromising.”

Outside his house, a group of mostly young black men sang a song called “Asinalo Uvalo,” which translates as “We are not afraid or ashamed or what we do.”

One of the verses ran, “We are not afraid of this Cyril who disgusts us, we are not afraid of this Zuma whom we love.”

Divisions

Apparently fearing a showdown, the ANC said it had postponed a scheduled meeting of its top National Executive Committee this weekend.

“The national officials were mindful of the situation developing in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the need for the ANC to give clear and principled leadership to ensure the maintenance of the rule of law and to avoid any violence, injury, or loss of life,” the party said in a statement.

The ex-president’s foundation on Wednesday described the jail sentence as “emotional”, “angry” and “not consistent with our constitution”.

Zuma is separately due in court in July facing 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to a 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military gear from five European arms firms for 30 billion rand, then the equivalent of nearly $5 billion.

 

AFP

South Africans Camp Outside Zuma’s Home In Show Of Support


Supporters of former South African President Jacob Zuma stand guard in front of his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on July 2, 2021. Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

Supporters gathered outside the rural home of South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma on Friday in a show of solidarity as he faced a deadline for surrendering to police for contempt of court.

In an unprecedented ruling, the Constitutional Court on Tuesday handed Zuma a 15-month jail term for repeatedly refusing to comply with an order to appear before graft investigators.

If the 79-year-old fails to turn himself in by Sunday, police will be given a further three days to arrest him and take him to jail to start the sentence.

Local media on Friday said that according to a warrant of committal, Zuma would be taken to Westville Prison, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Nkandla in southeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province.

About two dozen women who said they travelled more than 300 kilometres (190 miles) overnight from O.R. Tambo district in the neighbouring Eastern Cape province camped at the entrance to Zuma’s home.

“We support Zuma and we want to know what is going to happen with him, which is why we are here,” 43-year-old Cecilia Nongce told AFP, wearing a traditional Nguni blue-and-red blanket to ward off the cold.

“We love Nxamala,” she said in Zulu, referring to Zuma by his clan name, adding that they hoped he would come out to speak to them.

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Supporters of former South African President Jacob Zuma stand guard in front of his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on July 2, 2021.  Emmanuel Croset / AFP

 

A group of other supporters arrived in two mini-buses waving ANC flags and wearing white T-shirts with the inscription ‘wenzeni uZuma’, Zulu for “What has Zuma done?”

A few vendors set up stalls at the gate to Zuma’s homestead, selling food and African National Congress (ANC) regalia, as goats roamed in and out of the compound.

A big blue tent and a small red one have been erected to shelter members of the veterans of ANC’s armed struggle wing Umkhonto we Sizwe, who have staunchly stood behind Zuma in recent years.

AFP