The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has called on the party’s top 6 national officials to engage former President Jacob Zuma over his decision to defy a Constitutional Court order.
Speaking to SABC News on Wednesday, provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said Zuma’s possible arrest would have profound implications for the ANC and South Africa.
‘Zuma’s arrest could be blamed on Ramaphosa’
“The arrest of the former President would soon be appropriated to either the sitting President or some of the leaders of the ANC, and when that happens, divisions within the ANC would run deep,” he said.
He explained that this would then hamper the ANC’s ability to lead South Africa towards a “national democratic society.”
Zuma vowed not to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry, which is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, citing Zondo’s “bias” against him and “different treatment” reserved for him.
This is despite a Constitutional Court order compelling him to do so. “If this stance is considered to be a violation of their law, then let their law take its course. I do not fear being arrested. I do not fear being convicted nor do I fear being incarcerated,” he vowed.
Ntuli said Zuma explained his reasons during a meeting on Wednesday last week, but acknowledged that Zuma’s decision defies the ANC’s call to its members to cooperate with the inquiry.
‘Officials should engage Zuma’
However, he poured cold water on calls for the ex-President to be hauled before the ANC’s disciplinary committee, saying this was a matter best handled by the party’s national leadership.
He explained, “[We] call upon the national officials of the ANC to rise to the occasion and engage the former President of the ANC to make him understand the implications of the position that he has adopted.
“[They should] seek to persuade him to understand that he may have the courage and bravery to serve another term of imprisonment [after 10 years at Robben Island during apartheid], but that must not happen at the expense of the movement.
Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged the public to give Zuma “space and time” to reconsider his decision.
“I’m sure in his own mind, in his own time he will think about all this. I would like to say let’s give former President Jacob Zuma time and space to think about this, and also to hear what other people are saying. And in giving consideration to this, I’m sure he will come to a conclusion. I prefer to leave it there,” Ramaphosa said.
EFF leader Julius Malema, accompanied by ANC leaders Mzwandile Masina and Tony Yengeni, visited the former President at his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal. It is however unclear whether they managed to convince him to change his position or not.