Embattled former President Jacob Zuma has broken his silence with a cryptic picture of himself on Twitter.
Zuma is currently the subject of intense debate across the country following his failure to appear before the Pietermaritzburg high court on Tuesday for his corruption trial.
His legal team produced a medical certificate to prove that he was too ill to attend, but the court issued a warrant of arrest for him after doubting the certificate’s veracity.
Taking aim, but at whom/what?
This triggered statements of condemnation from his supporters in the African National Congress (ANC).
However, Zuma remained mum until Wednesday when he shared the picture. He is seen sitting next to a quad bike, over which he is holding a rifle and seemingly taking aim.
The ex-President did not accompany his picture with a caption, leaving his followers to guess what its meaning was.
It’s also unclear when and where it was taken, although videos shared on social media previously have shown him riding quad bikes at his rural Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.
Statements of support for Zuma
This is the first time Zuma has posted anything on his Twitter account since 29 December last year.
The issuance of the warrant, which was nevertheless stayed until 6 May when the trial resumes, triggered statements of support for Zuma.
The ANC the NYTT said the warrant is part of “the continuous vilification that former president continues to be subjected to in this country.”
The ANC Youth League in the Free State also issued an apparent threat to law enforcement agencies should they attempt to arrest Zuma, saying, “We shall welcome them in a manner and character they shall never live to explain.”
Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina tweeted that he was ready to go to jail for Zuma, while Carl Niehaus, the spokesperson of uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), added, “The pain and humiliation inflicted on Nxamalala is heartbreaking.”
Former Minister Bathabile Dlamini slammed the warrant as “a tool of intimidation and continued assault on President Zuma, even in his retirement.”
Meanwhile, the ANC, through its national spokesperson Pule Mabe, said, “Former President Jacob Zuma is a law-abiding citizen who has consistently respected the courts and submitted himself to judicial processes regardless of his stature. He has always co-operated with law-enforcement agencies whenever asked to do so.”