WATCH: President Zuma has done nothing wrong, says Magashule
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Cape Town – ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule sees nothing wrong with former president Jacob Zuma’s defiant stance on not appearing before the Zondo Commission – despite the Constitutional Court ordering him to.
Amid talk that Zuma should be suspended by the ANC for not being willing to answer questions regarding alleged state capture, Magashule told the media on the sidelines of a visit to the home of the late anti-apartheid Struggle stalwart Rebecca Kotane in Diepkloof, Soweto, on Wednesday afternoon: “No, why should we suspend a person who believes in what he believes in?”
Responding to various questions highlighting that the former ANC leader is defying the Constitutional Court, Magashule said: ’’Let’s leave President Zuma alone. What is the problem. What has Zuma done…
’’President Zuma is a South African. He has his own rights, so you can’t ask me to talk on behalf of President Zuma… President Zuma has a right to do whatever he wants to do.’’
This comes as the DA has welcomed the decision by the State Capture inquiry to lay a criminal complaint against Zuma following his failure to appear and testify before the commission in January.
The commission has also indicated its intention to consider further action against Zuma should he fail to obey a summons issued for his appearance on Monday.
Zuma said he did not fear imprisonment should his decision be considered a violation of the law, a move which has been heavily criticised.
Asked if he thought Zuma was treated unfairly by the courts and the state capture inquiry, Magashule said he had his own views, TimesLive reported.
“I have my views, I respect comrade Zuma. We will one day talk about what is happening in South Africa.
’’There are many wrong things which are happening in this country today. We can go to the days of the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission), where Botha (apartheid-era former president PW Botha) refused to go to the TRC and nobody said anything.
“There are TRC prosecutions which are supposed to have happened, they are not happening. You are quiet about that - people who killed us in the days of apartheid.”
While the ANC in the Eastern Cape has called for his suspension from the party, Magashule said: “Why should we call him into order when he's done nothing wrong? There is no structure of the ANC, be it a province or region, which can call for Zuma to be disciplined.
’’They are out of order. They are populists who always try to do this, and the ANC is quiet about these populists who like to appear in the media.”
Professor Bheki Mngomezulu, from the University of the Western Cape, told IOL earlier Zuma's action is a political statement to show people that he believes that the commission and the Concourt were not treating him fairly. He added that the fallout of this decision would be felt even by his party, the ANC.
"This move will further divide the ANC as its members who aligned along existing factions will take different sides on the matter. The divisions will also spill to alliance partners of the ruling party and it will affect leagues like MKMVA," Mngomezulu said.