- Former President Jacob Zuma on Thursday stated his reason for handing himself over to authorities in July
- Zuma said he aimed to avoid the potential loss of lives as tensions ran high between law enforcement and his supporters
- Zuma was delivering an address at the national welcome prayer held for him at the People's Park in Stamford Hill
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The national welcome prayer for former president Jacob Zuma took off in earnest at the People's Park in Stamford Hill, Durban, on Thursday.
Zuma, who was initially a doubt to appear at the event held in his honour, made a surprise appearance before taking to the podium to make a series of utterances.
Chiefly, the former president stated that he handed himself over to law enforcement, following a Constitutional Court order ordering that he does or be arrested, to avoid the potential loss of innocent lives amid the unrest in July.
Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal saw days of public violence, destruction of property and widespread looting as pro-Zuma supporters called for the 79-year-old's release from prison.
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Zuma was incarcerated at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in Pietermaritzburg to serve a 15-month prison term for contempt of court but was recently granted medical parole, less than a quarter into his sentence.
Zuma, who recently made a video appealing for South Africans to vote for the ANC at the upcoming elections, made his first public address since his release from prison.
Tensions were reaching boling point
Zuma said law enforcement role players that had gathered in their numbers near the King Cetshwayo District of KwaZulu-Natal may have potentially clashed with his supporters at his Nkandla homestead in an attempt to prevent his arrest.
He added that the actions of the police and other agencies appeared heavy-handed and threatened to provoke unwarranted violent eruptions.
“The rule of law appears to be weaponised to avenge oneself against political opponents and to suppress different viewpoints.
"The rule of law is losing its essential power to build a strong and united nation,” Zuma said, sending the message that the constitution was being used to settle political scores.
Zuma speaks publicly since release from prison, supporters say they won't vote ANC
In a recently published news story, Briefly News reported that Zuma had his first public engagement since he was released from prison on medical parole on Thursday, 14 October.
Zuma addressed his supporters virtually who were gathered in what is being called a welcome home prayer event for Msholozi which was held in Durban KwaZulu-Natal.
Speaking at the event, Zuma stated that his incarceration is paramount to the treatment people were receiving during the apartheid era; people being imprisoned without trial, according to a report by the EWN.
He told his supporters that despite being released from prison, he is essentially still a prisoner because he is under house arrest. He still maintained that his arrest was unlawful and unconstitutional.
Source: Briefly News