Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

KwaZulu-Natal ANC wants to join the appeal battle on side of Zuma

By Sihle Mavuso | IOL News |

Durban – The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants the national executive committee (NEC) of the ruling party to allow it to join the legal battle to overturn the Pretoria High Court ruling sending former president Jacob Zuma back to jail.

The resolution was taken late on Wednesday during the routine meeting of the provincial executive committee (PEC), which had a three-day meeting in Durban.

This comes as Zuma and the Department of Correctional Services have already indicated that they intend to appeal the ruling, effectively suspending his immediate reincarceration.

According to insiders, while the Zuma matter was not on the agenda, it was quickly added when news broke that the high court has ruled that Zuma’s parole, which was sanctioned by Arthur Fraser, was illegal and should be sent back to jail to serve the remainder of his 15 months sentence for the contempt of the Constitutional Court.

The insiders said the reason why the PEC wants to join the fight as “friends of the court” (An individual or group interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but not an actual party to the suit) is that they fear that should Zuma be jailed again, there is a possibility that the province will see a new wave of violence and looting of businesses.

“The PEC feels that even if the security forces say they are ready to deal with any possible unrest, any killing of people should violence erupt will reflect badly on the party. So they believe that they should at least join the appeal and make an input with the hope that the Supreme Court will understand its reasoning and overturn the initial ruling sending Zuma back to prison,” said an insider about the decision.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has always been concerned about Zuma’s arrest, even before he surrendered in July. They feared that there would be backlash from his supporters and some in the province as he is is still a popular political figure.

The spokesperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, confirmed to Independent Media on Thursday that they intend to join the legal battle, but the final nod will come from the NEC, which they intend to meet in the coming days.

“Yes, there is a PEC resolution to ask the NEC to allow it to join the appeal process as friends of the court. The final decision on that will come from the NEC, as the PEC only made a proposal and will present it to the NEC,” Ntombela said.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League in Zuma’s region of Musa Dladla, which includes Nkandla, has said it stands with Zuma, who it believes is being persecuted. It also raised concerns about the timing.

“We are concerned also with the timing of this ruling and the possible ramifications thereof,” it said in a statement.