Former presidents Jacob Zuma made several allegations against various parties – from his own comrades in the ANC to the media and the judiciary.
FORMER president Jacob Zuma’s 23-page long speaking notes which he delivered during his closed meeting with the ANC top six on March 8 have landed in the public domain, and sparked debate.
While the leaking of the notes which were meant for the ANC top officials and KZN provincial leaders, is seen as a diversion attempt by a besieged Zuma who is staring at jail following his contempt of court trial in the Constitutional Court, the notes give a deeper insight into Zuma’s thinking.
Zuma made several allegations against various parties – from his own comrades in the ANC to the media and the judiciary.
The allegations range from claims that his political and legal woes started in the early days of the democratic era, to claims that there are ongoing attempts to assassinate him and to how the ANC, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, threw him to the wolves.
1. Advocate Bulelani Ngcuka
Giving a background to his woes, Zuma said he and his family have suffered immense persecution and several means have been used to try to force him out of politics. He then revived an old and often contested claim that former NPA national director, advocate Bulelani Ngcuka was the first to abuse legal processes by claiming he was corrupt and produced no evidence.
“In 2003, the NPA made damning allegations against me yet decided not to charge me. Having, in a sense, said here is a criminal. I felt hard done because a cloud was kept hanging over my head while I could not deal with the allegations, which were made, not in a court, in a press conference, and therefore I was just there.
“No one thought, well some of the people doing that were cadres of the movement, no one thought that we should discuss this matter and deal with this matter, and you will realise why I am saying my movement looked away. Had that been done, the criminal trial which I continue to face today would not be – over 20 years later,” Zuma told the virtual meeting.
2. Zondo commission
Zuma reiterated that the Zondo commission, which is probing allegations of state capture under his nine-year tenure between 2009 and 2018, is a witch-hunt against him and the ANC did not step in to help. He claimed that the ANC top six only called the meeting because it wanted to show his enemies that they can force him to toe the line and drop his defiance.
“Comrades, today you come to me seeking to show that I am wrong in now going to the State Capture Commission charged by the Deputy Chief Justice (Raymond) Zondo. You come under the pretext of sympathy to me and to convince me to testify before the Commission.
“Basically, this meeting is not about the issues I have raised, which should concern you, but a public show aimed at displaying to forces external to the ANC that you can rein me in. The serious issues I have raised do not seem to concern you or the class on behalf of whom you seek to rein me in,” Zuma charged.
3. Mandla Mandela
In another eyebrow-raising claim which seems to suggest that Zuma, immediately after the State stopped the funding of his corruption trial, went to his international friends to look for funds. He claimed that Inkosi Mandla Mandela is being used by his enemies to lobby for the ending of his financial support.
Zuma claimed that Mandela went to the oil-rich Kingdom of Qatar to plead with the Emir there to stop supporting Zuma.
“I must also add, comrades, that some of you have followed me abroad to talk to people and media and my friends that I know, to plead with them that they must not support me. And some of those are my friends, and they have told me. That proved the point that it is not an accidental behaviour. Just to quote one, so that you don’t say I am just making allegations for sweet nothing.
“I went to Qatar and the first issue my friend, the Emir, there was my friend, told me that your country has been sending messages to say that I must not meet. And that very morning, Mr Mandla Mandela was there having been given a special jet to fly there to try to stop the Emir not to meet with me. It came from his mouth, not me,” Zuma claimed.
Independent Media has approached Mandela for comment and he has yet to respond.
The initial meeting between Zuma and the top six was planned to be in person, but the former president later changed his mind and said the meeting should be held via Zoom. A source within Nkandla then told Independent Media that Zuma feared that he would be poisoned at Luthuli House.
Zuma’s claims seem to confirm that he decided to appear virtually because he feared for his life.
“Various tactics have been employed in this regard which include character assassination, getting me imprisoned, rape cases planned for me, and even assassinations (which have intensified over the years).
“Again, the ANC and my comrades have either looked the other way and/or joined the bandwagon to ridicule me and strip me naked in the public eye.”
Zuma feels that the current top six led by Ramaphosa has joined his persecutors. He claimed that Ramaphosa supported those who called for his removal.
“To make matters worse, my own ministers (one of them was former finance minister Malusi Gigaba who spoke to CNN) at the time and comrades, took to the media and boasted that I should be removed. And leaders of the ANC, ‘the time has come this man must go’. But you were not able to provide what I had done.
“I was pressured to resign as Head of State. Because I cared and continue to care for the ANC, I decided to resign. The president decided to withdraw the appeal (which I had made on the decision of the Public Protector) which was supposed to deal with valid constitutional issues which I think will impact this Constitution gravely.
“By the stroke of your mighty pen, Mr president, you took away an opportunity for the Constitutional Court as the highest court in the land, to test the constitutionality of the former Public Protector’s recommendations.
“Notably, Mr. president, you decided to let me deal with the personal cost order without your support. It cannot be suggested that you did not know that your decision would prejudice me.”
– Political Bureau