DA calls on Ramaphosa to intervene following pro-Zuma gatherings flouting Covid-19 regulations

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  • DA leader John Steenhuisen has criticised the gatherings in support of Jacob Zuma.
  • The gatherings over the weekend defied adjusted Level 4 lockdown regulations.
  • Steenhuisen has demanded action from the president.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against former president Jacob Zuma and his supporters following gatherings at Zuma's home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Gatherings flouting the Disaster Management Act have been ongoing in Nkandla over the weekend.

READ | 'Supporter of Zuma slapped, strangled me' - SABC journalist as Nkandla crowd targets media

Zuma's followers gathered to support him after the Constitutional Court sentenced him to 15 months in prison for not appearing before the State Capture Inquiry.

Steenhuisen said the gatherings "have broken almost every lockdown Level 4 regulation gazetted" and were potential super-spreader events.

"It is unthinkable that while the liquor industry, small business and restaurants have had to endure devastating losses to adhere to these restrictions, members of the ANC and Jacob Zuma's RET faction can seemingly break them without consequence. The president's silence on this matter only reinforces what many South Africans have come to believe: that nobody is above the law, except those connected to the ANC's elite," Steenhuisen said.

READ | Legal experts split on whether Zuma's 11th-hour court bid to escape prison has any hope of success

Lockdown regulations at any level must either be enforced with consistency or scrapped altogether, Steenhuisen said.

"There is no reason why restaurants cannot host a sit-down dinner service or bars cannot safely serve patrons if thousands of Zuma supporters can gather on a whim without consequence," he said.

Action from Ramaphosa would assure the nation that he had placed the country above his party, Steenhuisen said.

"He must ensure that Jacob Zuma and his supporters are held to the same standards as any other South African. If not, he will forever be remembered as the president who arrested surfers and joggers while letting his compatriots off scot-free. Jacob Zuma is an ordinary citizen. It is high time he is treated as one," Steenhuisen said.

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