The Congress of the People (Cope) has raised concerns over utterances made by members of the ANC attacking the judiciary, following the appearance of former president Jacob Zuma in court.
Zuma appeared briefly in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday, where he is facing 16 charges relating to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial arms deal. His co-accused in the matter is French arms manufacturer, Thales, which is facing two charges.
The charges, which include one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud, were initially laid against Zuma in 2009, but were withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Hundreds of Zuma supporters, clad in ANC regalia, descended on Durban to show their support.
Cope National Chairperson, Pakes Dikgetsi, said Cope was extremely disturbed by the posture taken by the ANC supporters outside the court.
“South Africa is a constitutional democracy, meaning that we are a country governed by laws and those laws should be applied equally to all citizens, regardless of their position in society.
“We are therefore extremely disturbed by the posture taken by ANC members who, in their attempts to divert attention from the real issues in this decades-long case against the ANC’s former president Jacob Zuma, have decided to paint the judiciary as the real enemy,” said Dikgetsi.
ANC are the real problem
Dikgetsi said the real problem was the ANC.
“Instead of being the instrument to rid the country of corruption, it has been the catalyst of corruption at all levels of government.”
Dikgetsi said Cope was also concerned by the “deafening silence” from the ANC leadership in condemning its supporters who continued to spread propaganda.
“The ANC stood by and ululated while Jacob Zuma brought the country to the brink of collapse, and the latest demonstrations by members of the ANC, in support of a man who single handedly brought the country to its knees, is a prime example of why the ANC is no longer fit to be a leader of society, and in government,” he said.
Dikgetsi said South Africans had to be vigilant, and not fall for the tactics of “Jacob Zuma mobsters” who wanted to present Zuma as a victim of a faction within the ANC.
“We call upon the ANC to condemn its members from intimidating the judiciary and desist from disrespecting the country’s judicial authority.
“The ANC, as the governing party, has the duty to protect, defend and adhere to the judiciary.
The long arm of the law must execute its cause.”
ANC call on Zuma supporters to do so in private capacity
The ANC on Friday once again called on members who wished to support former president Jacob Zuma during his court battle, to do so in their private capacity.
“It is important that members who would prefer to go to court to pledge their own support, do so in their own capacity as individuals,” said ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe in a video posted on the party’s Facebook page.
“We also stated preferences on how we would love to see them conducting themselves to the extent that such conduct should be in keeping with upholding the good name of the ANC,” he added.
Zuma to appeal
Meanwhile, Zuma’s legal representative said they intended to file an application to review the decision by NPA boss Shaun Abrahams to prosecute him. The application is expected to be filed on May 15.
The case against him was postponed, scheduled to resume on July 8. – News24