PMB nervous about verdict

2008-09-11 00:00

It’s judgment day and a tense Pietermaritzburg waits in trepidation for Judge Chris Nicholson’s verdict in ANC president Jacob Zuma’s case today. Will there be an outpouring of anger if the judgment goes against Zuma and will mayhem prevail? Or will there be raucous celebrations if the judgment is for him?

A blasé Pietermaritzburg public that has grown used to mass gatherings of Zuma supporters and who have praised them for their good behaviour in the past, are not so sure anymore. This is after a peaceful march by Zuma supporters in Durban turned ugly on Wednesday, with reports of bystanders being intimidated and clashes with the police.

A poll of Maritzburgers yesterday revealed tension and uncertainty.

The wet weather last night did not put a dampener on the vigil and by late evening, people were arriving in large numbers. The crowds were much bigger than the last vigil. Buses started dropping off supporters from 7 pm and word was that many more were travelling through the night and were expected here in the early hours. Plans have been made for the arrival of more than 10 000 people.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said they took note of what had happened in Durban, but do not expect the same in Pietermaritzburg.

“If the situation does get out of hand, we have sufficient staff on the ground to deal with it.”

Budhram added that all SAPS units are on standby and will be available to work together.

The provincial leadership of the ANC also expressed confidence that the situation will be under control. Deputy secretary Sihle Zikalala said they had carried out extensive preparations before today and have worked closely with the police. He added that they are looking at what happened in Durban and why.

“Those events cannot be linked to what is going to take place in Pietermaritzburg today. To ensure that there is control, we have also deployed hundreds of marshals in the area,” he said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.