Johannesburg – Former president Jacob Zuma has rejected EFF leader Julius Malema’s plea to respect the Constitutional Court’s order to appear before the Zondo commission.
Sunday World understands that Malema – who was accompanied by EFF’s advocate Dali Mpofu, ANC’s Mzwandile Masina and Tony Yengeni, among others – made the plea at a meeting with Zuma in Nkandla on Friday.
It is believed that during that meeting Malema told Zuma that he taught him, when he was still in the ANCYL, to respect the constitution and Constitutional Court’s decision even if he disagreed with them.
It is believed that Zuma indicated that he would only appear before the commission if Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recused himself because he was conflicted.
Zuma has undertaken to consult with his legal team for legal counsel before taking a final decision.
The decision would be communicated to Malema and politicians who accompanied him in their next meeting which, will be held soon.
Masina sounded upbeat after the meeting.
“Today, we did what we thought many was impossible and united black leadership in the interest of our constitutional democracy. Watch the outcome and be a judge,” he tweeted on Friday evening.
Today we did what many thought was impossible and united Black Leadership in the interest of our Constitutional Democracy @Julius_S_Malema @PresJGZuma in my capacity as Citizen Facilitator. Watch the outcome and be a judge pic.twitter.com/G3hLY0oXp3
— Mzwandile Masina (@mzwandileMasina) February 5, 2021
Zuma’s meeting with Malema came as ANC top six officials prepare to meet tomorrow amid mounting pressure on the governing party to rein in Zuma ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang told Sunday World that the ANC top six officials should have immediately condemned Zuma’s statement instead of waiting for the party’s national executive committee’s (NEC) meeting.
Several NEC members told Sunday World that the crucial NEC meeting, starting on Saturday, was going to be a battleground for Ramaphosa and supporters of the party’s secretary- general Ace Magashule, who spoke in Zuma’s defence this week.
The gathering was also set to get an update on the process by officials to finalise guidelines under which members should step aside when found to have been involved in wrongdoing – a discussion that will pit the two factions against each other over Magashule’s future.
Mondli Gungubele of the ANC warned that a country that cannot be trusted to adhere to its laws is doomed.
Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi called on law-enforcement agencies to do their job to enforce the ruling of the court and prevent a constitutional crisis. Sunday World has established that there was intense lobbying by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive to raise a special motion during the NEC meeting to convince the party that the Zondo Commission should be petitioned to allow another judge to preside over the Zuma matter.
It has also emerged that Zuma sympathisers have hedged a plan to criss-cross the province to lobby aggrieved ANC regions who had supported the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s slate in 2017 to come to the former president’s defence. Student formations such as Cosas and Sasco and social media campaigns would be activated to support Zuma.
Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans warned that the arrest of Zuma could lead to civil unrest.
Additional reporting by Sandile Motha.
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