DURBAN, April 06 – Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama told supporters of former president Jacob Zuma on Thursday night that the country’s land would be “taken”.
Mngxitama was addressing hundreds of Zuma supporters at Durban’s Albert Park, not far from the Durban High Court, where Zuma will appear at a preliminary hearing on corruption charges on Friday.
The all-night vigil started out with a small group of supporters, mostly students, who had been rounded up from Durban University of Technology (DUT) earlier in the evening.
Edward Zuma was among those calling for support for his father. A defiant Edward had donned an African National Congress (ANC) shirt while at DUT earlier in the evening.
Many at the vigil were dressed in ANC colours, had the party’s flag draped over their shoulders or were waving the flags. This despite the governing party’s leadership asking members to refrain from sporting party regalia for Zuma’s court appearance.
uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, was also at the vigil, wearing MKMVA colours. Other speakers at the vigil included pastors and preachers who had earlier in the week said they supported Zuma because he was a champion of Radical Economic Transformation (RET).
The #HandsOffZuma supporters believe that the former president is being “persecuted” because he has taken a stand against Western influences by championing free higher education for the poor and calling for land to be returned to its rightful owners.
Zuma’s first appearance is to start at 9.30am Friday morning, according to the National Prosecuting Authority. He will appear in A Court, with a heavy police presence expected.