Bathabile Dlamini calls arrest warrant against Zuma a travesty of justice

Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images, City Press, file)
Former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini has penned a heated letter in defence of former president Jacob Zuma, calling the warrant of arrest issued against him a travesty of justice. 

This after the ANC filed its own media statement, describing Zuma as a law-abiding citizen who has consistently respected the courts. 

In her statement, Dlamini said the warrant should be seen for what it was, a tool of intimidation, and continued assault on Zuma, even in his retirement.

"One would be quick to remember that the same judge who issued this highly questionable warrant is the same judge who presided over the negative judgment about a tweet in the Hanekom vs Zuma matter.

"This litany of negative and vindictive judgments against Zuma points to nothing but a personal vendetta against the former president," she added. 

On Tuesday, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg issued a warrant of arrest after Zuma failed to appear for the sitting of his fraud and corruption case. His legal team told the court he was too ill to appear.

Judge Dhaya Pillay questioned the strength of the proof presented to the court by Zuma's lawyers, saying it appeared the dates on the document had been altered.

She said Dan Mantsha, acting on Zuma's behalf, could not clarify certain questions that she had.

READ | Zuma arrest warrant: Judge questions 'altered' date on sick note, lack of evidence

"The warrant of arrest against comrade Zuma really flies in the face of fairness and justice. It is a travesty to justice. The warrant of arrest against [former] president Zuma is nothing but a symptom of how blacks and black African lives are disregarded, and treated with disdain," said Dlamini.

She questioned how the courts could reject a sick note from a state institution, adding the courts should have considered Zuma's rights and his elderly status.

"Red carpets, VIP treatments, and courteous treatments are given to apartheid murderers such as [former president FW] De Klerk. But President Zuma's illness is trivialised and turned into a joke.

"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." 

EXPLAINER | Jacob Zuma will not be arrested yet despite warrant being issued

Her words echo that of Zuma's son, Edward, who said his father was being targeted by the country's power players with the aid of their western allies. 

In his statement, he added his father had never and would never evade the law, hence issuing the warrant of arrest, stayed or not, was not necessary. Edward said it was done to spite the nature and character of his father.

"A people who do not have respect for their own can never be respected by anyone else. We must not invite the lynching, disregard, and disrespect against our own.

"When they are done with Zuma, tomorrow it will be another comrade. Lastly, the merits and demerits of this case are a discussion for another day for our eyes are wide open, and we can see what is happening." 

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