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Protests prevent Zuma’s lawyers from speaking to him

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The Jacob Zuma Foundation said it was concerned that sporadic violent protests could affect his rescission case on Monday at the Constitutional Court.

Former President Jacob Zuma has been admitted to the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

THE JACOB Zuma Foundation said it was concerned that sporadic violent protests could affect his rescission case on Monday at the Constitutional Court.

This was after Zuma’s legal team failed to get to Estcourt Correctional Centre, where Zuma is imprisoned, to get statements and affidavits from him, in preparation for the case.

JG Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi told Independent Media on Sunday that Zuma’s legal team was supposed to fly from Johannesburg and drive to Estcourt to meet Zuma on Saturday but, due to the road closures, they could not go to the prison.

Manyi said the lawyers were concerned that this would affect their presentation. He also denied knowledge of rumours that Zuma had fallen ill and was in the hospital. There were rumours that Zuma had tested positive for Covid-19 but Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo dismissed this as fake news. He said he would have issued a statement if that were true.

Meanwhile, political analysts said that failure by Zuma’s Foundation, or his family, to condemn or distance themselves from the violent behaviour of his supporters was working against him.

Dr Ralph Mathekga said it was wrong for the family or his foundation not to distance Zuma from this violence. He said even those who genuinely sympathised with Zuma would be disturbed by acts of criminality that had gripped parts of the country since the protests began on Friday.

Mathekga felt it was clear that the campaign was going to be hijacked by criminals, who were seen looting shops and burning trucks.

“I think the foundation or his family should have come out and said people should not do this in Zuma’s name. A genuine leader won’t allow destruction of property, such as the burning of trucks, to be done in his name,” said Mathekga.

“Even if judges had planned to be lenient on Zuma in his rescission application, it would be difficult because they will think he supports the violent behaviour of his supporters.

“Burning of trucks, especially at Mooi River Toll Plaza, has nothing to do with the ’FreeJacobZuma’ Campaign.”

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