JOHANNESBURG, April 5 – uMkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe said on Wednesday he will be in Durban in Friday to support former president Jacob Zuma as he appears in court to face corruption charges.
Maphatsoe was one of many leaders who arrived at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto to pay homage to the late anti-apartheid struggle icon.
He said he will respect the instruction from the ANC national executive committee that members who want to go support Zuma in court desist from wearing ANC regalia.
“We were taught in the MK to not leave your own behind, you carry him or her until you evade the enemy. Comrade Zuma is still a member of the ANC, he was the former president of the ANC,” he told journalists.
“Regardless of the cases…the instruction does not say dump the ANC comrade, it says do not be seen as an ANC [member] to be supporting people facing criminal charges…and these are allegations, Jacob Zuma is innocent until proven otherwise.”
Maphatsoe is a staunch supporter of Zuma and has not shied away from defending the beleaguered former president.
On March 16, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma would go on trial on fraud, racketeering, corruption and money laundering charges.
“After consideration of the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects to successfully prosecute Mr Zuma on charges listed in the indictment served on Mr Zuma prior to the determination of the matter by Mpshe, SC. As a result, Mr Zuma’s representations are unsuccessful,” Abrahams told a media at the time.
All 16 counts in the 2007 indictment, before then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges against Zuma in 2009, will be reinstated.
The counts include one of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.
Abrahams said in his submission to the NPA, Zuma strongly disputed the allegations against him, insisting that he “lacked the requisite intention to commit any crimes listed in the indictment”.
The case against Zuma was withdrawn in 2009 shortly before Zuma became South Africa’s president. Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal refused Zuma’s appeal of a high court ruling which declared as irrational the decision to drop the charges.