SACP, Sihle Zikalala express ’pain’ over jailing of Jacob Zuma
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First to express his pain at Zuma’s imprisonment was KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, who is also the provincial ANC chairperson, while addressing the virtual launch of the SACP provincial centenary celebrations.
Last week, when tensions boiled in the province, Zikalala was repeatedly quoted as saying President Cyril Ramaphosa should consider granting Zuma a presidential pardon.
During the SACP virtual gathering, Zikalala reiterated that the jailing of Zuma has “inflicted pain” on some of them who cherished his role in the Struggle.
“We converge here at a time where our province is engulfed by various protests, more significantly is the protest of those who call for the release of former president Cde Jacob Zuma. The imprisonment of former president has inflicted pain to many of us who value his contribution to the revolution.,” Zikalala said.
Furthermore, he noted that the protests in reaction to Zuma’s jailing have been hijacked by “reactionary” elements, but warned that the law would take its course.
“We cannot allow anarchy to reign,” he said.
Giving his keynote address, SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu pleaded for an "urgent solution" regarding the jailing of Zuma. Mthembu added that "the imprisonment of Zuma is indeed painful and regrettable".
He said the KZN protests could not be reduced to "mere ethnic chauvinism".
“It is regrettable that our launch of our centenary celebrations takes place during a very difficult period for KwaZulu-Natal and the country. Our province has been engulfed by sporadic violent protests organised in opposition to the imprisonment of former president of the Republic, comrade Jacob Zuma, who also happens to be a former leader of the SACP during exile years,” Mthembu said.
He expressed his sadness about Zuma’s jailing.
“It is regrettable that we find ourselves in this situation and appeal for an urgent solution to the current situation.
“Comrade Zuma played a significant role in bringing about peace and stability in this province hence held in high esteem by the people of Kwazulu-Natal and therefore should not only be viewed as demonstration of as mere ethnic chauvinism as there is a strong emotional attachment between a sizeable number of people of KwaZulu-Natal and comrade Zuma because of the role he played in ending violence in the province.
“The imprisonment of comrade Zuma is indeed painful and regrettable. The question to be raised is: Is this unfortunate situation a mere decisive application of the rule of law?” Mthembu asked.
Sandile Dayi, of the Young Communist League (YCL), said the protests were giving a platform to those who mobilising along tribal and regional lines.
He warned that this has proven to be dangerous in countries where even religion was used to mobilise.
The launch was attended by leaders of the SACP from the Western Cape and Gauteng.
The provincial executive committee of the ANC in KZN will later today hold an extended meeting and Zuma’s jailing is expected to be a prominent feature.