Zuma allies say remarks about instability in SA were warnings, not threats

As government sets its eyes on those who had been inciting the current spate of violence, some of former President Jacob Zuma’s allies said that their remarks about instability hitting the country were not threats but genuine warnings.

FILE: Former MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus addresses the crowd outside the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - As government sets its eyes on those who had been inciting the current spate of violence, some of former President Jacob Zuma’s allies said that their remarks about instability hitting the country were not threats but genuine warnings.

Wednesday marked a week since the former president was arrested for contempt – he's currently serving a 15-month sentence.

The past week has seen his political party, the African National Congress (ANC) and his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, taking a hard line in defence of the country’s Constitution and rule of law.

It has also seen lawlessness across parts of the former president’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, which kicked off with vehicles being set on fire on Friday evening.

The riots have since turned into widespread looting, which has had little to do with Zuma.

Both government and the ANC admitted that the current crisis facing South Africa found its roots within the governing party.

Jacob Zuma’s children, Duduzane and Duduzile, have been placed at the heart of the attempts to destabilise the country.

Long-time Zuma ally, Mzwanele Manyi, who recently returned to his side as a spokesperson, has tried several strategies on social media in his honour – these include pleading the former leader’s innocence to push for a revolt and now portraying Zuma as a saint.

While he insisted that he was only interested in the legal arguments around Zuma’s freedom, he also weighed in on the former leader’s children and their recent Twitter posts.

"Just calm down and get the facts and deal with the facts in front of them. Right now, I'm not able to separate fact from fiction."

Meanwhile, the disbanded MKMVA’s Carl Niehaus, who boldly told the country that all hell would break loose if Zuma was arrested, has gone to ground.

But as Eyewitness News located him, he insisted that his words were mere warnings of what was to come.

"The warning that we extended with President Zuma's arrest will lead to or could potentially lead to instability was a correct warning. It was not a warning to instigate."

Zuma is currently waiting on the Constitutional Court to decide whether it will rescind his 15-month prison term.

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