Don't mess with our comrades in state-owned enterprises‚ say pro-Zuma loyalists
Funeral parlour boss Nkosentsha Shezi - one of Jacob Zuma’s most vocal advocates – and others have thrown their weight behind Zuma as he appears in the Pietermaritzburg High Court this week.
Under the banner of Radical Economic Transformation (RET) Defenders‚ Shezi said their support extended to other “RET forces” who were being “purged” in state-owned enterprises.
The group’s ranks are made up of clergymen and businesspeople. They are key players in the support campaign for Zuma‚ who enjoys a strong support base in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma faces charges of fraud‚ money laundering and racketeering relating to his alleged malfeasance in the controversial arms deal.
Speaking on the fringes of Zuma’s third recent court appearance on Friday‚ the controversial funeral parlour boss said that support for the former president remained staunch.
“Our people have been arriving in dribs and drabs‚ but right now we have thousands of people here to support the father of RET‚” he said.
“They are here to say in one voice that our father is being persecuted for standing up for the expropriation of land without compensation.”
Shezi said this support would extend to others. “We are watching what is happening. We see the RET forces which are being purged in the state-owned enterprises and we want to say we stand behind them and there must be hands off them‚” he said.
Shezi’s comments follow a statement issued by the EFF in which they accused Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan of conducting a “reign of terror”.
In a letter signed by EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee‚ the party accused Gordhan of using unlawful means to conduct his reign of terror under the guise of “cleaning up” and “fighting state capture”.
Among the accusations‚ the EFF said Gordhan was conducting unplanned physical visits at the offices of public enterprises‚ using verbal warnings of instant removal from the boards and other intimidation and bullying tactics.