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’Exonerate Zuma’ – supporters

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File picture: Former president Jacob Zuma

’We don’t want anyone’s sympathy, we want justice for former president Zuma.’

Members of the Free Jacob Zuma campaign in the Northern Cape are calling for the former president to be exonerated of all charges.

The movement also intends reporting President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet to the International Crime Court in the Hague, following the loss of lives and ethnic division that arose during recent acts of violence and looting in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.

One of the coordinators of the campaign in the Northern Cape Olebogeng Leserwane said that there were other political organisations who were also supporting their initiative.

“We do not want Zuma to be released on medical parole or be given a presidential pardon. This would imply that he did something wrong – he did nothing wrong. We don’t want anyone’s sympathy, we want justice for former president Zuma. We are eagerly awaiting the judgement from the Constitutional Court as he was imprisoned without being afforded an opportunity to defend himself in court. If the court does not rule in his favour, we will have to look at other legal avenues to secure his release.”

The movement stated that it would go ahead with efforts to impeach president Cyril Ramaphosa.

“Our unequivocal demand remains that President Zuma must be released.”

Carl Niehaus representing KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and Gauteng, Andile Lungisa from the Eastern Cape, Nkosentsha Shezi (KZN), Phapano Phasha (Gauteng), Mabel Rweqana (Gauteng), Shirley Willemse (KZN), Vanessa Calvert (Western Cape), Londi Shezi (KZN), Pascaline Nqobile Mazibuko (Mpumalanga), Tshepiso Mishack Boksraal (Limpopo), Boipelo Jarvis (Northern Cape), Olebogeng Leserwane (Northern Cape), Castro Setlhogomi (Northern Cape), Lufuno Gogoro (Gauteng), Gundo Munyai (Gauteng), Brian Tloubatla (Gauteng), Lopang Rothman (North West), Banele Nkosi (Mpumalanga) and Thembinkosi Mgidi (Eastern Cape), in a joint statement called for the end to Zuma’s “persecution”.

“Following the president’s failure or and refusal to address the demands we had given him to release Zuma and a call that all the legal targeting and persecution that he has endured must end.”

They stated that Ramaphosa had failed to respond to their petition, seeking to address the underlying socio-economic reasons for the tragic violence and looting that took place over the past few weeks.

“As the Free Jacob Zuma campaign, we reject with contempt the deliberate attempts to link our campaign to the violence and looting that took place over the past few weeks. The unfounded allegations that are leveled at the campaign are scapegoating of the worst kind. Government is trying to escape its responsibility in addressing the legitimate and immediate needs and demands of South Africans, in particular poor black Africans.

“For a democratically elected president, who has been deployed in the highest office of our country by the people’s liberation movement, the ANC, that derives its legitimacy from being representative of the will of the people, to conduct himself in this arrogant manner is unconscionable.”

The campaign members indicated that they had instructed their attorneys to proceed with legal action against the president on the basis of dereliction of duty and his fitness to hold office.

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