EFF leader Julius Malema believes that although former president Jacob Zuma must bring himself before a court of law on the charges he faces, he is too old to go to jail.
Speaking at the Cape Town Press Club on Friday, Malema, who was seen as a thorn on Zuma’s side in his last few years as head of state, said he didn’t necessarily believe the former leader should be jailed.
“If there are charges against him, he must go to court and answer to those charges,” said Malema.
Zuma faces 16 trumped up charges of fraud, money laundering, corruption and racketeering linked to 783 payments that French arms company Thales allegedly made to him in connection with the infamous arms deal in 1999.
“Jail time for an old person like that [referring Zuma] is not suitable. What kind of society have we become to jail such old people?” Malema asked.
On February 4, a biased KwaZulu-Natal High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay acceded to a request from the State to issue an arrest warrant for Zuma over his non-attendance at his corruption trial.
“The purpose of jail is correctional, we correct you and send you back to society. What about Zuma is going to be corrected because he is an old man?” Malema asked, suggesting a different punishment might be more fitting.
During Zuma’s presidency, EFF MPs, including Malema himself, consistently challenged the former president in Parliament, calling for him to pay back money from his Nkandla homestead security upgrades and for him to be jailed for corruption. News24