- Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, and once a shining example of heroism in the fight against racial injustice, is seen now in a light far different
- Zuma has landed in hot water courtesy of a cold plummet from grace which sees the elderly man faced with the prospect of spending the next 15-months in prison
- His strong defiance and continuous snubbing of the Zondo Commission are to thank for where the ANC's former leader now finds himself
The country's embattled former president was once seen as a struggle hero, putting his weight strongly behind what was a raging fight against the ills of an oppressive racial system.
Today, he faces the prospect of spending the next 15 months of his life behind bars – at 79 years of age – having once been familiar with the cold metal bars of a jail cell as a political prisoner.
This next foreseeable chapter in his journey up to now is courtesy of a defiant stance against a corruption probe into his administration.
That open defiance brought contempt of court charges being levelled against Zuma, months after he denied an order to appear before the State Capture Inquiry, with the additional ruling that the charges cannot be appealed.
Humble rise, loyal connections and defiance have characterised JZ
The man who started off as a herdboy and rose to become the southernmost African country's fourth democratically-elected president, and the spearhead of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, has had a well-documented and tumultuous plummet from grace.
Regardless of his sins, the charismatic Zuma has managed to keep a loyal cast of officials and die-hard supporters close to him, not least the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), who have continued to rally behind their former leader.
With all they have in them, they have defended Zuma's tarnished image and his continuous snubbing of the Zondo Commission, and have now pledged to defend him at all costs, should any attempts to place him under arrest at his Nkandla homestead be put into motion after the five-day hand-over window closes on Sunday.
Zuma famously walked out of the Commission hearing in Johannesburg after accusing its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, of bias. But his supporters maintain the allegations are politically motivated.
MKMVA reiterate support for Jacob Zuma and station at Nkandla
MKMVA ex-combatants in the country's provinces were on Tuesday finalising arrangements to make their way to former Zuma's Nkandla homestead in order to 'protect' him.
This as a Briefly News reported that the former president now has to hand himself over to the police to start his 15-month jail term. MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus stated that the veterans already arrived at Zuma's home in Nkandla.
Niehaus stated that they would do anything in their power to defend the former president. A report by News24 stated that the ConCourt ordered Police Minister Bheki Cele to make sure that Zuma is arrested within five days of the sentencing if he failed to hand himself over to the police.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!