The rise of the Zuma defence force – here's what they've said in support of him

07 February 2020 - 07:20 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Some ANC members have come out in defence of former president Jacob Zuma after the Pietermaritzburg High Court slapped him with a warrant of arrest.
Some ANC members have come out in defence of former president Jacob Zuma after the Pietermaritzburg High Court slapped him with a warrant of arrest.

The ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal is the latest to publicly express its support for Jacob Zuma, after the former president was slapped with a warrant of arrest by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

Zuma was expected to appear before the court on charges including corruption, money laundering and fraud, which relate to his dealings with arms manufacturing company, Thales.

The proceedings did not proceed as anticipated, as his lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, presented a “sick note”, and told the court his client was unwell.

Judge Dhaya Pillay was not satisfied, saying there were discrepancies in the note, and the court issued a warrant of arrest for Zuma, but Pillay stayed the warrant until Zuma's corruption trial resumes on May 6.

Throughout the week, the support received by Zuma from members of the ANC has been growing.

From Mzwanele Masina to the ANC Youth League, this is what the Zuma defence force has had to say:

Mzwandile Masina 

Staunch supporter of the former president, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, was the first to reiterate his backing of Zuma, by saying he would go to jail for the former president because “he is sick and there is no-one to blame”.

Carl Niehaus

Zuma's long-time ally, Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association member (MKMVA) Carl Niehaus was critical of the court's decision, and said Zuma was being humiliated.

He described the issuing of the warrant as “very disappointing” and “disturbing”.

Bathabile Dlamini 

ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini issued a scathing statement in which she called out the “double standards” in the treatment of “apartheid murderer”, FW de Klerk, and Zuma.

She said the warrant of arrest was an example of the unfair treatment of black, African lives, while apartheid “murderers” addressed conferences.

“Instead of having sympathy and respecting, or protecting his constitutional rights, there are sectors of society that want to destroy Zuma at all costs. There are those who want to turn Zuma's head into a trophy to feed their narratives — while we have apartheid murderers addressing conferences and turned into paragons of morality.”

ANC Youth League

“This warrant of arrest is a clear indication that former president Zuma will not get a fair trial. We have painfully observed for over a decade the persecution of the former president.”

This is what KwaZulu-Natal ANCYL secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said in a statement denouncing the warrant of arrest.

Sabelo said Zuma was treated unfairly and that the court should have verified the legitimacy of the “sick note.” 

He said the youth league in the province would mobilise society to show support “for our hero.”