Jacob Zuma is a man who appears ready to wreck anything in his way as he wages a dubious battle to stay out of prison.
The former president addressed his supporters outside his Nkandla home in an off-the-cuff speech made in Zulu on Sunday afternoon.
In no uncertain terms, Zuma vowed that he’ll do everything within his power to stay out of jail – including resisting arrest.
“I will not go to jail. I fought for this democracy and I will not allow people to misuse it against me. We must all fight to defend our democracy.”
He made no effort to warn off the supporters who have come to his aid, firing guns and threatening war if he is arrested.
On the contrary, he called for them to protect him from arrest.
“They will have to go through you first before they come to me.”
Speaking to the crowd – most of whom were not practising social distancing or wearing masks – he said nothing about the flouting of Covid-19 regulations.
This is despite 61,507 South Africans having died of the virus, as of Saturday.
Zuma said there has been a conspiracy by some, including in the judiciary, to “deal” with him.
The Constitutional Court ruled last Tuesday that he was in contempt of court after he defied two court orders telling him to appear at the state capture commission of inquiry.
He was supposed to hand himself over in Nkandla on Friday, but has fired off applications to the High Court and Constitutional Court.
The frail-looking Zuma took aim at Deputy Chief Raymond Zondo and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
He told his supporters that his legal woes were started by Madonsela in her State of Capture report in 2016, which gave birth to the state capture commission of inquiry.
He didn’t mention her by her name but mockingly referred to her as “Intokazi ebukekayo owayewuMvikeli woMphakathi,” which translates to “a beautiful lady that used to be the public protector.”
“This started when she took all the powers away from me to appoint the chairperson of the inquiry.”
Zuma will face off with the ConCourt, the highest court in the country, on Monday 12 July in a bid to have his 15-month jail sentence reversed.
On Tuesday, the Pietermaritzburg High court will hear Zuma’s application to interdict Police Minister Bheki Cele and the police from arresting him before the ConCourt has heard his application.
Image source: @KhayaNduvana