Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma’s supporters are preparing to head back to Nkandla to fortify his home and thwart his looming arrest as expectations mount that the Constitutional Court will order his jailing, setting the SAPS to nab him.
Late last week the court heard from the Zondo Commission, which is probing allegations of state capture between 2009 and 2018, how Zuma defied its ruling of late January this year and refused to appear to testify.
Through advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, the commission said Zuma not only defied a legally binding instruction, but went on to insult judges and the courts. As such, the commission asked the court to jail the former president for two years because his defiance was grave.
Now those close to Zuma anticipate that the court would consider the time constraints of the Zondo Commission and hand down a judgement soon. One inside source said they expect the judgment in the second week of April.
With that in mind, the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) is planning to send back the battalion which was first deployed in mid-February this year. The association’s spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, said full plans about how their members would be deployed would be discussed in the coming week when the national executive committee (NEC) of the MKMVA meets this week.
“When we left (Nkandla) we made a commitment to Msholozi (Jacob Zuma) that we will come back … and we will probably go back next week. The MK vets who were there withdrew because it was not necessary for them to stay,” Niehaus said.
Asked whether their decision is not in defiance of a call made by ANC president Cyril on Monday after their heated (NEC) meeting, that the MKMVA and “RET Forces” (radical economic transformation) must not sow “social instability”, Niehaus said that was not the case.
Zuma’s son Edward, who has been at the forefront of catering for the “defenders” of the former president, referred all questions about this move to the MKMVA.
“(I am) only in KZN this evening, please ask the MKMVA,” Edward said.
Another Zuma loyalist who went to Nkandla to guard Zuma’s home, Andile Hlatshwayo of uBumbano Lokuthula, an organisation based in Durban, said he would also be personally going back to back the MK vets.
Hlatshwayo said in addition to bringing some of his members, who in early 2020 brought the northern KZN town of Ladysmith to a standstill, he has mobilised Zulu regiments from Eshowe and Nkandla to join them.
“We are going back to defend Zuma, they must know that Zuma is not going to be arrested as together of RET Forces of (Nkosentsha) Shezi, we will stand with him throughout this persecution by the judiciary,” Hlatshwayo told Independent Media yesterday.
He added that the Zulu regiments have agreed to join them in their defence of Zuma and their leader, Mlandeli “Mgiliji” Nhleko, who led the regiments during the burial of late King Goodwill Zwelithini, has given them a nod.
“This time around we will be with Zulu regiments from Nobamba, Eshowe and some from Nkandla, as their traditional leaders have agreed that they must go to defend Zuma,” Hlatshwayo claimed.
However, Nhleko denied that Zulu regiments would be going to Nkandla to defend Zuma as claimed by Hlatshwayo.
“That is not true, we are not part of that as we are regiments whose loyalty lies with the Zulu king, not individuals. We cannot be used for any other purpose,” Nhleko said.
Shezi could not be reached to confirm whether his RET Forces members would return to Nkandla to defend Zuma, as claimed by Hlatshwayo.