Johannesburg – While staunch supporters of the former head of state Jacob Zuma have threatened deadly violence against his imminent arrest, Sunday World has established that plotters of the anti-Zuma arrest are now targeting key economic sectors such as airports, harbours, and busy national highways.
Zuma’s days as a freeman are hanging by a thread after the high court in Pretoria ruled that the decision to grant the former president a prison break on medical grounds was procedurally flawed.
Presiding Judge Keoagile Matojane said the former head of correctional services Arthur Fraser had unduly and unlawfully intervened when he bypassed the Medical Parole Advisory Board and ordered that Zuma complete his 15-month sentence for contempt of court outside of prison.
The court ordered that the former president must return to jail and serve his sentence.
Now Zuma’s supporters are spitting venom, saying hell will break loose, and vowed that the man they call “the father of radical economic transformation” will not see prison walls again.
“We have a big surprise in store for those who think Zuma will be sent to prison again. I’m not at liberty to disclose to you what is contained in our plan. But this time we are not leaving anything to chance, we will hurt the state where it matters.
“The plan is to dismantle the white power behind the persecution of uMsholozi [Zuma’s clan name] using the current political establishment,” said one senior ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal.
In the aftermath of the ruling, Zuma’s lawyers filed leave to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), saying that judge Matojane fundamentally erred in his ruling.
Meanwhile, the so-called Radical Economic Transformation Forces (RET), the governing party’s faction aligned to Zuma said they were prepared to put their bodies on the line to defend Zuma.
“President Zuma will not fight this battle alone. I can assure you that this time we are prepared for anything. We have accepted that Cyril Ramaphosa and the top six don’t care about the welfare of this country and the possibility of loss of life on a grand scale should there be any attempts to touch Zuma,” said Nkosentsha Shezi,” spokesperson for RET forces.
Sunday World has established that key supporters of Zuma are lobbying the police and other law enforcement agencies to support anti-Zuma arrest and defy any instruction ordering them to unleash violence against big crowds and unruly protesters.
The current developments happen at a time when the RET forces are gaining momentum mainly in KwaZulu-Natal where the eThekwini metro, the ruling party’s biggest region, will be used as a launchpad.
Former health minister Zweli Mkhize is touted as a candidate whom the RET forces are putting forward to challenge Ramaphosa at next year’s elective conference. There are also talks within branches in the province that Zuma’s son Duduzane should be given a prominent role in the party. Duduzane who is believed to harbour presidential ambitions was this week elected branch chairperson of ward 11 under eThekwini metro in the suburb of Newlands East.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela said the party was supporting Zuma in his appeal of the judgment. “The provincial leadership has pronounced itself on this matter and we call for calm and cooler heads while we allow the appeal process to run its course,” he said.
In July, more than 300 people died and the economy lost billions of rand after unrest erupted in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following Zuma’s arrest.