Former President Jacob Zuma has expressed solidarity with the jailed former President of Brazil, Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva.
Zuma posted a picture of da Silva on Twitter on Sunday morning along with a caption he wrote in Latin: “Magna est veritas et praevalebit #LulaLivre.”
Loosely translated, it means, “The truth is mighty and will prevail.” It’s a Latin proverb made famous by Coventry Patmore’s poem titled, “Magna Est Veritas.”
In the picture Zuma posted, da Silva is seen hoisted shoulder high by a throng of supporters with his fist raised high.
Da Silva opts to stay in jail
On 30 September, reports indicated that da Silva had opted to stay in jail instead of taking up an offer of house arrest.
“I won’t swap my dignity for my freedom,” he was quoted saying. The former president began a 12-year jail sentence in April 2018 after being convicted on corruption charges.
However, he and his supporters believe the charges and his conviction were politically motivated.
BRICS and anti-Zuma plot
The 73-year-old da Silva was president of Brazil from 2003 until 2010. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) formation was one of the main pillars of his government’s foreign policy.
His ex-counterpart, Zuma, has often claimed that Western powers started plotting against him soon after South Africa joined BRICS under his leadership.
He has repeatedly claimed that the several votes of confidence against him in Parliament were part of the anti-BRICS agenda.
In 2017, Mail & Guardian quoted Zuma saying, “I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined BRICS under my leadership.”
He also claimed that the 2016 removal of Dilma Roussef, who succeeded da Silva, was part of this agenda.
Just like da Silva, Zuma’s troubles are far from over despite the fact that he’s no longer president.
The Pietermaritzburg high court is set to make a ruling soon on whether to grant his application for a permanent stay of prosecution or not in the Schabir Shaik matter.
He’s scheduled to make another appearance at the state capture commission of inquiry following his first one in July.
His son, Duduzane Zuma, will also take the stand at the inquiry on Monday, 7 October.