MKMVA: We will form a human shield around Jacob Zuma
On Friday, MKMVA's Carl Niehaus, who has been deployed to Zuma’s Nkandla home following a NEC meeting on Thursday night, threatened that there would be instability in the country if the former leader was apprehended.
JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC)’s Umkhonto Wesiziwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) said it would form a human shield around former President Jacob Zuma in order to prevent him from being arrested this weekend.
On Friday, MKMVA's Carl Niehaus - who has been deployed to Zuma’s Nkandla home following a NEC meeting on Thursday night - threatened that there would be instability in the country if the former leader was apprehended.
Zuma is due to start his 15-month sentence after being found guilty of contempt by the country’s Constitutional Court this week this for refusing to return to the commission of inquiry into state capture.
The ANC has called off its national executive committee meeting this weekend out of fear of violence in KwaZulu-Natal. It’s also deploying some of its senior members to that province.
Niehaus, who is also a close Zuma ally, said the MKMVA members would resist a move to arrest the former leader within the confines of the law.
“President Zuma is the patron-in-chief of MKMVA. We will continue to protect President Zuma. In the days to come, there will be a heavy burden on the comrades from the MKMVA who are here to do that protection and at the same time, to continue to behave in a disciplined manner.”
Meanwhile, some of Zuma’s allies said they hadn’t ruled out seeking recourse beyond the country’s borders to stop the former statesman from going to prison.
While those supporting Zuma call for him to be left alone, with many willing to put their bodies on the line and to ignore the country’s rule of law, he is intent on painting a picture of a man seeking justice against a politicised system.
This as he continues testing the country’s very tenants of democracy.
University of Johannesburg professor Moses Phooko said Zuma may turn to judicial bodies outside of the country’s jurisdiction to state his case.
Phooko explained why one may turn to the SADC Tribunal or African Court for help.
“[He might say] my courts may be are corrupt or influenced by political organs and are not capable of protecting my constitutional right to a fair trial.”
But Zuma, during his presidency, had a hand in a move towards disbanding the SADC Tribunal – one which was declared as unconstitutional and invalid, and it now sits suspended.
Meanwhile, Phooko said while there was no time limit regarding such applications, an applicant who turned to these courts could not get their current sanction suspended.
“Whatever court order that has been issued needs to be kind of put on hold until the entire judicial process is complete.”
Zuma has until Sunday to hand himself in to the police.