- Former president Jacob Zuma has lost the support of the ANC in his upcoming corruption trial
- ANC members are free to support their former leader as long as they do not wear any ANC regalia
- Zuma is expected to appear in the Durban High Court on 6 April
Just six months ago the idea of the African National Congress (ANC) not support Jacob Zuma would have been unthinkable, but that is exactly what has happened.
On Sunday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule party members would not be permitted to wear or display ANC colours if they chose to provide moral support to their former leader.
The announcement comes after a weekend-long meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in Cape Town. The NEC decided in the interests of the party that it would not support or be associated with Zuma in any way during his trial.
Briefly.co.za discovered that Zuma is expected to be served with a summons this week to appear in the Durban High Court on 6 April to face charges of corruption.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) reinstated 16 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering against Zuma. Zuma’s one-time friend and financial advisor Schabir Shaik has already indicated that he would testify during the trial.
“Individual members of the ANC and society have the right to express their sympathy and solidarity with the affected persons in their individual capacity, and not through any structures of the movement including the ANC leagues and the MKMVA,” Magashule said.
Magashule said ANC members were free to support whomever they wanted, but in this case, the party is strongly opposed to members displaying ANC colours, paraphernalia or anything which could create the impression that the ANC was associated with proceedings.
The decision by the NEC seems even more remarkable because it was made in the presence of Zuma. The former party leader attended the NEC meeting in Cape Town as an ex-officio member.
All former ANC presidents are permitted to attend and participate in NEC meetings as ex-officio members.
Magashule said all persons must be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, he said allegations are just that, but the ANC was not about protecting or defending anyone. Magashule did admit that the ANC did not want to be associated with Zuma’s trial ahead of the 2019 election.
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