The African National Congress (ANC) has called for calm after former President Jacob Zuma’s court proceedings that unsettled some of the governing party’s members.
On Tuesday KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay issued a warrant of arrest for Zuma after he failed to appear at the court in Pietermaritzburg for the start of his corruption trial. Despite Zuma’s legal team presenting a medical certificate, Pillay said this was not good enough. She also expressed doubt over the veracity of the medical certificate.
This decision caused a public outcry in some quarters, with some of Zuma’s political allies criticizing Pillay’s decision.
Some even said they would serve prison time on his behalf.
Ekurhuleni mayor, Mzwandile Masina and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) senior member, Carl Niehaus tweeted on Wednesday that they would also go to jail if Zuma is arrested.
“I’m ready to go to jail for Zuma, since he is sick and currently receiving medical attention in Cuba, and there is no-one to blame. History has no blank pages and, indeed, does have [the] capacity to repeat itself,” said Masina on Twitter.
Niehaus tweeted: “Thank you comrade Masina. I, and many more true comrades, are ready together with you!”
The ANC pleaded with members of the public to let the courts do their job.
“The ANC appeals to members of the public to exercise patience and allow former President Jacob Zuma and the courts to deal with the matter when it resumes again in the 6th May 2020,” the ANC statement said.
The ANC also said Zuma is a law abiding citizen “who consistently respected the courts and submitted himself to judiciary process regardless of his stature. He always co-operated with law enforcement agencies whenever asked to do so”.
The party also said it supports the “independence of the Judiciary and respects the decision of the court”.