- Police Minister Bheki Cele has issued a stern warning to Jacob Zuma and his supporters to stop mobilising ANC structures to support the former leader when he appears in court
- Zuma is scheduled to appear in the Durban High Court in connection with 16 charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering
- Cele told leaders and former leaders of the ANC that they might be loved by the organisation, but they did not own the party
Former president Jacob Zuma famously and regularly said he would love to have his day in court to prove his innocence and show he was being persecuted for no real reason.
On Friday, Zuma will be granted his wish when he makes his first appearance in the Durban High Court on 16 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.
The African National Congress (ANC) has moved swiftly to distance itself from publicly supporting Zuma and even went as far as banning its members from wearing or displaying ANC regalia or clothing at the trial.
Briefly.co.za learned that Police Minister Bheki Cele issued a warning to Zuma and his supporters to stop mobilising ANC structures to support him at the trial.
“Nobody owns the ANC. If you commit crimes you must face the charges without calling the ANC to defend you as if when you were stealing you were doing it for the ANC, while you were stealing for yourself and your children,” Cele said.
“Leave the ANC alone. Don’t say you were not warned when you don’t want to listen,” he added. Cele was addressing ANC supporters in Lamontville near Durban on Sunday.
Cele told ANC leaders and former leaders that they might be loved by the organisation, but they did not own the ANC whose heritage belongs to the people of South Africa. Cele said no ANC branch or structure would support anyone who was accused of a crime.
The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) released a statement in which it said its members would comply with the ANC’s directive.
A night vigil is expected to take place outside the Durban High Court on Thursday night, the vigil will be held under the banner of ‘Buyisa umshini wami” and “hands off Jacob Zuma’.
Meanwhile, Zuma said he was not afraid of going to prison.
Thousands of supporters are expected to show their support and solidarity on Friday. Court proceedings are expected to be short as Zuma’s legal team will request a postponement.
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