Zuma slams ‘traitors’

2019-10-23 06:02
PHOTOS: moeketsi mamaneFormer president Jacob Zuma leaves the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday after his corruption case was postponed to next year.

PHOTOS: moeketsi mamaneFormer president Jacob Zuma leaves the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday after his corruption case was postponed to next year.

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AS former president Jacob Zuma’s support network crumbles, the embattled politician yesterday labelled those deserting him as “traitors”.

Addressing a handful of supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg high court shortly after making an appearance in connection with his corruption charges, Zuma said he had expected some of those who supported him before to eventually turn their back on him.

“If you are a black person you must know that you will be humiliated until you go to the grave. Along the way you will find yourself surrounded by some cowards and traitors who will turn against you at any moment,” he said.

Zuma, who has been used to commanding significant support in Kwa­Zulu-Natal, for the first time yesterday addressed fewer than 200 people, most of whom were local shoppers who stopped by to catch a glimpse of him.

Previously, Zuma has left the court flanked by high profile ANC figures such as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Land Reform Sdumo Dlamini, former Communications minister Faith Muthambi and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.

However, none of the high profile ANC members were at Zuma’s side when he addressed the crowd at the Freedom Park Square outside the court.

ANC provincial leaders who had previously supported Zuma were conspicuous by their absence. The low attendance resulted in Zuma’s key supporters blaming some of ANC provincial leaders for the low turnout.

“We know that more than 30 buses had been organised to transport ANC members to the court but it appears certain individuals within the party refused to allow the buses to go and fetch people. It’s definitely a sabotage,” ANC KwaZulu-Natal MPL Vusi Dube said.

Zuma, who has used his rallies outside court to blast ANC leaders he accused of being part of the conspiracy to get him charged, yesterday neither mentioned names nor commented on the latest political developments in the country. “I don’t want to say a lot of things as the case is sub judice,” he said.

However, he did make it clear to his supporters that the judges who ruled against his application for a permanent stay of prosecution last Friday had failed to protect him from what he previously described as his “persecution” by the National Prosecuting Authority.

“The judges accepted that my rights as an accused had been trampled upon but yet they still ruled that the trial should still go ahead.

“In their ruling, they completely ignored the fact that the Constitution says my rights as an accused person should be respected. That is the reason why my lawyers are now appealing last week’s decision,” he said.

Zuma, who is being accused by the NPA of accepting kickbacks during the government’s arms deal in the 1990s, is facing charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

Apart from the criminal charges, he is also facing a slew of lawsuits from several ANC leaders whom he labelled apartheid spies.

In what could suggest that Zuma’s legal problems are beginning to take a toll on him, he concluded his address to supporters by breaking into struggles song Senzeni Na? (What have we done?)

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