ANC KZN to attend the welcome home event for Jacob Zuma
Share this article:
DURBAN - THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has confirmed that the party’s leadership would attend the national welcome-home prayer event to be held in support of former president Jacob Zuma.
ANC KZN secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli told the Daily News on Wednesday the party had decided to accept the Jacob Zuma Foundation’s invitation to the event, planned for on Thursday at Moses Mabhida People’s Park.
The Foundation announced the event last week, saying that faith-based and religious organisations, non-governmental organisations, and all political parties were invited.
ANC provincial spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela, said: “The provincial ANC chairperson will attend the event on behalf of the ANC.”
This will be the first major public event held in honour of Zuma who spent time in jail after being found to be in contempt of court by the Constitutional Court.
One of the event organisers indicated that the former president would not attend as his doctors had advised him against participating in public events.
When the Daily News visited People’s Park, it appeared to be relatively quiet; however, there was a truck unloading stage equipment. The Foundation’s logistics committee was doing final touch-ups and held a logistics meeting at Moses Mabhida’s presidential suite.
“Everybody would like to see the president at this event, but the reality is that the former president is not in good health, therefore we can’t go against the instruction of his medical doctors; however, we have proposed that if possible, he delivers his address virtually,” said a source.
Asked who the funders of the event were, the source said they did not have a source of funding. He said there would not be T-shirts and refreshments on offer for supporters.
“We are running on a zero-budget, we have requested service providers to donate equipment and provide other services. We do this because we know Zuma is old and sick; it is the least we can do for him.”
Thursday’s event is part of the build-up to the main event, planned to take place in Nkandla, at Zuma’s homestead which he is expected to attend.
The Daily News last week reported that the former president was resting at his home after quietly leaving 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria, where he was admitted in August to undergo an operation.
His hospital discharge was kept a secret, and his foundation repeatedly refused to confirm it until his family and the ANC broke the news last week.
Zuma’s parole, which was sanctioned by Correctional Services boss Arthur Fraser, is now being challenged in court by the DA, AfriForum and the Helen Suzman Foundation.
They all want Fraser’s decision to be set aside as they claimed he overstepped the mark and abused his powers in granting Zuma parole.
Among those expected to attend the event are senior members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association such as Carl Niehaus, RET Forces members like Nkosentsha Shezi, and members of KwaZulu-Natal Interfaith Council including Bishop Vusi Dube of the eThekwini Community Church.
Zuma has not made any public appearances since he was discharged from 1 Military Hospital a few weeks back.
The only known public statement he has made was the one he issued via video early last week, in which he called on people to forget about their anger and vote for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections.
Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said: “The medical parole placement conditions ( September 5) of the former state president Zuma are silent on attending or addressing gatherings. However, he has to be monitored by our Community Corrections Office. Unfortunately, we are unable to divulge parole conditions as they are between the parolee and the Department of Correctional Services.”
As the event is expected to attract Zuma supporters mainly from KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, one of the people who was spotted at the venue was Fistos Mafela, a proponent of RET and a Zuma supporter who is an ANC councillor in the Musina municipality in Limpopo. Also spotted was Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile, Duduzane’s twin sister.