AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
SOUTH African governing party, the ANC, has come out strongly against the conduct of supporters of former president Jacob Zuma, who gathered in big numbers to protest against the 15-month sentence imposed by the Constitutional Court.
The national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC met yesterday to consider developments that took place outside Zuma’s home in Nkandla.
In a strongly-worded statement, the NEC said any attempts to respond to legal and judicial matters through threats and acts of violence were abhorrent and would not be tolerated.
The NEC said it must always be clear that the interests of an individual cannot take precedence over or jeopardise the interests of the South African democracy or of the nation. It said the current situation in KwaZulu Natal did not represent a popular uprising, but had been engineered from within the ranks of the ANC.
The NEC has instructed the secretary-general’s office to investigate and initiate disciplinary actions against those responsible for the violence and defiance of COVID-19 regulations.
ANC deputy secretary Jessie Duarte told a media briefing that the NEC had noted failed attempts at national mobilisation, at organising shutdowns, lawlessness and mass protests against the Constitutional Court ruling.
Duarte said: “The NEC noted the counter-revolutionary calls for violence and even civil war, parading of armed groups, the flagrant display of weapons and firing of guns, as well as the activities particularly of individuals operating under the banner of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA). The NEC also noted populist attempts by some to use retrogressive and opportunistic ethnic mobilisation for their own opportunistic objectives and deliberate defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.”
Duarte said the NEC reiterated that the MKMVA and the Military Veterans Council remain disbanded.
She said: While there may be different responses on details of developments outside Zuma’s house, there was agreement on the unequivocal commitment to and defence of the Constitution, in particular the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and the independence of the Judiciary, amongst the founding principles and values of the Republic.
“The NEC reaffirmed our understanding that we consciously chose a democratic system and constitutional dispensation. It was not an accident, concession or a compromise, but rather an expression of our fundamental values and beliefs as espoused by the African Claims, the Freedom Charter, the Harare Declaration and the Constitutional Principles. The meeting stressed that it must always be clear that the interests of an individual cannot take precedence over or jeopardise the interests of our democracy or of the nation.”
Zuma has asked the Constitutional Court to rescind the 15-month sentence. His lawyers are in court today to apply for a stay of the execution of the sentence until July 12, when his rescission application will be heard.