POLITICAL NEWS - After having been given space to consult with his lawyers regarding his defiance against a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) order, former president Jacob Zuma has slammed the African National Congress (ANC) for failing to protect him.
In a 23-page letter sent to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule over the weekend, Zuma accused the ANC top six of leaving him out to dry with no support, while also addressing the corruption allegations levelled against him over the years, his rape trial and the Nkandla upgrades saga, among others.
The ANC top six, which comprises of Magashule, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC deputy president David Mabuza, chairperson Gwede Mantashe, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, met with Zuma to discuss his defiance of the ConCourt ruling forcing him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
The former president has since said it appeared that the meeting was initiated to convince him to testify before the commission.
“Comrades, today you have come to me seeking to show that I am wrong in not going to the state capture commission charged by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. You come under the pretext of sympathy to me and to convince me to testify before the commission.
“Basically, this meeting is not about the issues I have raised, which should concern you, but a public show aimed at displaying to forces external to the ANC so that you can rein me in,” he said.
Zuma further said the meeting was inspired by “the desire to hand me over to the system I complain about”.
He faces the possibility of a prison term of two years if he is found guilty of contempt of court.
The ConCourt had ruled in January that Zuma should appear before the commission and answer questions put to him, but he has vowed not to do so, maintaining his stance that he doesn’t fear being arrested.
Meanwhile, the former president also accused the ANC of looking away and failing to protect him from being attacked after allegations of state capture emerged, which implicated the Gupta family.
“In the more recent years, the ANC has never protected me as I faced unjustified attacks that I assisted the Guptas capture the state. You know very well that is not true, but you left the narrative to run along,” he added.
Zuma continued to say that he refuses to participate in the judicial process that appeared to “lack the attributes of independence”, further accusing the ConCourt of being biased against him.
“I am entitled in terms of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa to hold and express views, opinions and beliefs about the judiciary.
“I am entitled to freedom of conscience and it is my right to conscience that I refuse to participate in the judicial process that appears to lack the attributes of independence,” he said.
The former president previously slammed the commission for spreading “political propaganda” against him, saying Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was attempting to “turn all narratives against me into evidence”.