After failing to act in time to avoid a gathering of over 1,000 people outside the Bloemfontein High Court on Friday, police say they will not tolerate a similar gathering when Jacob Zuma appears at the Pietermaritzburg High Court tomorrow.
Big gatherings of over 100 people outdoors have a potential to become Covid-19 superspreader events and have been outlawed under Lockdown Level three regulations.
Hundreds of Zuma supporters including members of the Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans are expected to support him outside court.
Zuma and French arms manufacturing company Thales, formerly Thomson-CSF, were implicated in charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering, stemming from the R60 billion Arms Deal of the late 1990s.
KZN provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said those who flout lockdown regulations will be arrested.
“It is common sense that people must respect the lockdown regulations and stay at home.
“No one will be tolerated if they break the lockdown regulations in Pietermaritzburg,” Naicker told Scrolla.Africa.
Zuma still wields massive support in his home province and many people were expected to support him outside court prior to Naicker’s statement.
“Our men will be ready to deal with any flouting of the regulations outside court,” he said.
Zuma loyalist and businessman Nkosentsha Shezi said they will be in court to support Zuma on Tuesday.
“Wherever Zuma goes we will go with him, we will support him until the last days because we believe that he is innocent.
“We will respect the regulations but we don’t have any control over the people who choose to go to court,” said Shezi.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said members of the ANC were required to respect the lockdown regulations.
“The lockdown regulations are clear, and if you break them you will be arrested regardless of who you are.”
Picture source: @PresJGZuma