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Zuma is no coward, it's only a matter of time before he returns to stand for the truth — Women's League

Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma signified a “very painful chapter” for the ANC Women's League in KwaZulu-Natal, it said on Friday. 

The league — a staunch supporter of the former president — was among those who visited his Nkandla homestead earlier this year for “tea”. This was just days after he publicly refused  to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry — a move which led to the Constitutional Court finding him guilty of contempt of court and slapping him with a 15-month sentence.

Zuma was ordered to hand himself over to a correctional facility within five days. Police later had to negotiate his arrest and convince him to accept his fate. 

The women's league hailed Zuma for complying with law enforcement officials without a fight. 

“Zuma’s incarceration signifies a very painful chapter for all of us who are members of the glorious movement as we are forced to see one of our own, a freedom fighter, being incarcerated by the very same institutions he fought very hard for. However, by choosing to hand himself over to the police, Cde Zuma took the correct decision which ensured that we avoided potential conflict which may have resulted in bloodshed,” it said.

ANCWL provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Gabela praised Zuma for the  “sacrifice” he had made.

“Cde Zuma has once again sacrificed his freedom for the love of this country and its people. We are happy about the quality of leadership that he continues to demonstrate even during difficult times. He has to leave his family to [go to] prison once again.”

Several parts of the province were on Friday rocked by protests and road closures by unhappy supporters. Gabela urged party members to avoid doing “wrong things” in the name of the former president.  

“In this period, we all need to be calm and avoid doing wrong things in the name of Cde Zuma as he showed us that he still committed to see peace and prosperity in this nation. Let us all be committed to the rule of law and defend our constitution,” Gabela said.     

Gabela said Zuma remained one of the most trusted leaders of the movement. “It's only a matter of time before Cde Zuma returns to his family and continues to stand for the truth and guide us as our elder. 

“The ANCWL knows that Cde Zuma is not a coward. It's not for the first time being incarcerated and he will go through these trying times and return. We wish him well during his stay in prison and we shall continue supporting him in whatever way we can,” she added.

Meanwhile the ANC National Youth Task Team (NYTT) said Zuma's incarceration at the age of 79 was regrettable and a call for concern.

However, it welcomed Zuma's decision to comply with the ConCourt ruling and hoped it would set a good precedent for the organisation.

“We however have faith in the leadership the ANC in providing [leadership] on the matter and trust that this experience will provide valuable lessons to our movement, our comrades, and state institutions in general,” said spokesperson, Sizophila Mkhize.


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