ANC Youth League threatens to mobilise in defence of 'hero' Jacob Zuma
The ANC Youth League in KwaZulu-Natal has come out in support of former president Jacob Zuma after he was issued with a warrant for his arrest on Tuesday.
Judge Dhaya Pillay issued the warrant at the high court in Pietermaritzburg after he failed to appear in connection with his arms deal corruption trial.
Pillay issued the warrant after rejecting a sick note provided by Zuma’s legal team.
But Zuma’s allies have come out to pledge their support and criticise Pillay’s decision.
In a statement on Thursday, KZN ANCYL secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo slammed the warrant.
“We condemn this act of the high court with utmost disgust. We believe that it was within the means of the court to easily verify the authenticity of the sick note issued by the military doctor who is responsible for the health of the former president,” said Sabelo.
“This warrant of arrest is a clear indication that former president Zuma will not get a fair trial. We have painfully observed for over a decade the persecution of the former president.”
Sabelo said on numerous occasions, Zuma’s rights had been “trampled upon” and the issuing of the warrant was meant to humiliate him.
He said the youth league in KZN believed that the case Zuma was facing was not in the interest of the public, and called for its withdrawal.
“The ANCYL will now embark on mobilising support for president Zuma. We will also mobilise society to stand up and defend president Zuma against the unwarranted attack on our hero,” he said.
His statement followed that of ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini, who called the arrest warrant a “travesty of justice”.
“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 said former president FW de Klerk, whom she referred to as an “apartheid murderer”, was given VIP treatment while Zuma’s illness was 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,” said Dlamini.
Other Zuma allies, such as Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, have also taken to social media to profess their support.
“Now that the justice has pronounced itself, I’m ready to go to jail for [Zuma] since he is sick and currently receiving medical attention in Cuba and there is no one to blame. History has no blank pages, and indeed does have capacity to repeat itself,” he posted on Twitter.