'Challenging the state & risking lives is unacceptable': 5 quotes from Buthelezi on Zuma
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has lashed former president Jacob Zuma and his supporters, saying the behaviour in Nkandla runs contrary to “our dignity as a people”.
A number of Zulu regiments (amabutho) were among those who gathered at Zuma’s home to show support for the former president after the Constitutional Court last week found him guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months in prison for failing to comply with an order to appear before the state capture inquiry.
However, at the 11th hour, the matter was paused after the court agreed to hear Zuma's application for a rescission of the judgment.
Here are five key takeaways from Buthelezi's address:
'A spectacle in the eyes of the world'
Buthelezi said the protests outside Nkandla were uncalled for and made the country a “spectacle in the eyes of the world”.
“With all of this history, I am troubled by what is happening at Nkandla. It is simply wrong. Our people there are challenging the state and in so doing they are challenging all of us who are guided by the rule of law,” he said.
'His lawyers let him down'
He said Zuma’s lawyers let him down and he was now facing the consequences.
“Let me state upfront that I sympathise with Mr Zuma’s family in this difficult time. Any lawyer would have known the consequences awaiting the former president if he refused to comply with the Constitutional Court’s order to appear at the state capture commission,” said Buthelezi
Amabutho warriors joined MKMVA veterans in pledging their undying support for former President Jacob Zuma and have vowed to protect him.
Zuma is not the first former leader to face imprisonment'
History has shown that Zuma is not the first former leader to face imprisonment, said Buthelezi.
“This is not the first time that a leader in our country has faced imprisonment and worse. History provides us with many examples but history also shows us how those leaders acted in the face of trial, even unjust trial, and how their people acted in response.”
Crowds jeopardising lives
Buthelezi slammed the “highly irresponsible” behaviour of the crowds gathered in Nkandla.
“When one watches the people congregating at Nkandla, there is barely a face mask in sight. They are jeopardising their lives and the lives of every one of us in whose midst they are living”.
He said what Zuma's supporters were doing was “treasonous”.
“It is the greatest irresponsibility of all. It is treasonous what is going on. Challenging the state and risking lives is unacceptable.”