Edward Zuma not worried about COVID, calls on his father's supporters to gather

Edward Zuma said the Constitutional Court's decision against his father was unjust, and adherence to COVID-19 regulations was not a priority at the moment.

Former President Jacob Zuma's son Edward Zuma inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court.Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

DURBAN - Former President Jacob Zuma's son Edward has called on his father's supporters to converge on his Nkandla homestead despite current COVID-19 regulations, which prohibit mass gatherings.

He's reacted angrily to the Constitutional Court's scathing judgement against the former president.

The apex court on Tuesday sentenced Zuma to 15 months in jail over his refusal to participate at the state capture inquiry. It’s given him until Sunday to hand himself over to the police.

Edward said the police would have to kill him first, before arresting his father. He said the Constitutional Court's decision against Zuma was unjust, and adherence to COVID-19 regulations was not a priority at the moment.

“We encourage people to come out in their numbers to come and support President Zuma,” he said.

When asked about COVID-19 regulations he replied, “We know we're in a situation of war, you can't be considering COVID-19 situations. If it means we die, we die, and we are prepared to die.”

The Constitutional Court ruling has been met with condemnation from residents within and outside Nkandla, with calls for mass demonstrations circulating on social media.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the judgment had far-reaching implications for the ANC and the country, describing Zuma as one of those who sacrificed a lot for South Africa.

There are already calls for mass demonstrations and defiance of the Constitutional Court's judgment against Zuma.

While the court has pointed out that Zuma was given ample opportunity to cooperate with the commission before it sentenced him, his supporters insist the ruling is unjust. Zuma’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi claims the former president has been treated unfairly by the country's apex courts.

“Right now he’s got a criminal sentence, but he is not afforded the right afforded to others,” Manyi said.

Supporters of the former president who reside in Nkandla said they were to take to the streets to oppose the court’s decision.

“It is a gross injustice; they're persecuting this man. We’ve never had this on the continent of Africa that a president has continued to go to court for 10 years,” said one Nkandla resident.

At the same time the Jacob Zuma Foundation said the former president would issue a statement once he had received legal advice. The Foundation said it could not rule out that Zuma could soon address the nation.

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