Zuma went to jail ‘to avoid a bloodbath’

zuma went to jail ‘to avoid a bloodbath’

Zuma went to jail ‘to avoid a bloodbath’

Former president Jacob Zuma has spoken out about his imprisonment, saying he handed himself over to the prison authorities to prevent a bloodbath outside his home.

In order to avoid a deadly clash between the police, the army and those who had come to defend him, he said he decided to hand himself over to the prison authorities despite the fact that every fibre of his being was against it.

Zuma spoke in detail of what he sees as the wrong things that occurred leading up to his incarceration, describing the process as deeply flawed, undemocratic and a violation of his rights.

Speaking in a television interview, Zuma alluded to a conspiracy against him.

“I have been very clear all the time that there was a particular attitude towards me, arising from different quarters, some big and small and some very big.”

Zuma was incarcerated in 2021 shortly after a falling out with the chairperson of the commission appointed to investigate state capture, Justice Raymond Zondo.

He had demanded that Justice Zondo recuse himself and when his recusal request was turned down, Zuma refused to appear before the commission.

Zuma’s arrest triggered deadly riots and looting in July 2021 that destroyed businesses, wiped out jobs and claimed hundreds of lives.

Zuma said he would have fully participated in the commission had the judge presiding over it recused himself.

“I came there and I said the judge would not be fair to me and I stated the reason, therefore I need someone else to sit here so I can talk to them.

“But the judge said no, I am not going. I have never heard of that. And then (he) started writing his own statements, arguing with me.

“He tells the judges who are at the Constitutional Court who report to him, so as a boss he gives them instructions and they don’t use the legal normal situation to say sorry, you can’t say we must try a case.

“Those guys (Constitutional Court justices) try cases that have not been agreed to at a lower level.”

Zuma said it was the first time that a Constitutional Court judge chairing a commission had instructed his colleagues, and they obliged.

“The judges took the instruction and they charged me, the first of its own in the country,” Zuma said, adding that the matter should have been taken to judges at a lower level, not the Constitutional Court.

The former president said he was angry when he was sentenced to prison. Speaking of the moments leading up to the moment he handed himself over, Zuma said: “They mobilised soldiers across the country to come and arrest this one man, and people of this country were angry, they came and wanted to defend me. We could have had another massacre.

“I realised that there was a plan to kill people here ... So I said ‘let me save the poor people, let me not allow them to be killed, let me go to prison’,” he said.

Meanwhile, political parties in KwaZulu-Natal made a final push on Sunday to convince voters to support them in Wednesday's elections.

The IFP attracted thousands of voters to its Siyanqoba Rally hosted at the Umhlathuze Sports Complex on Sunday.

IFP leader Thami Ntuli said they would reclaim the leadership, fix the damage caused by the ANC, restore hope in the public and build a future for their children.

“The way we were welcomed, even in areas where we know that the IFP does not have much support, gives hope that, come May 29, the IFP will take over KZN.”

ANC provincial chairperson Siboniso Duma said they would emerge victorious after the elections, adding that many people still believed that the party was the only vehicle that would liberate them.

The Mercury

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