Jacob Zuma

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Zimbabwe has pleaded with South Africa’s political leadership and the judiciary to treat the country’s jailed former president, Jacob Zuma with respect and dignity.

The opposition party said South Africa’s leadership and the judiciary should have opted for a political solution rather than incarcerate the former head of state and government.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court jailed Zuma for 15 months in jail after he declined to appear before a commission investigating state-capture corruption allegations during his nine-year tenure as president.

Zuma started serving his jail term last week.

Addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre Friday, (EFF) Zimbabwe President Innocent Ndibali said putting Zuma in prison at the age of 79 years of age was a humiliation and “unAfrican” considering that he is one of South Africa’s liberators.

“We may disagree with Msholozi (Zuma) but we certainly do not agree with the amount of humiliation that he is going through,” said Ndibali.

“We do believe that Zuma is from a crop of leaders who delivered political freedom. We believe whatever the issues that we might have with him, he must be treated with respect, and accorded dignity as a leader of the continent.”

Ndibali said South Africa’s judiciary was selective as some apartheid criminals were walking scot-free after they were pardoned while Zuma was languishing in prison.

“(Frederik Willem) De Klerk and other descendants are enjoying their freedom whilst today, we have Zuma locked up by his own people. They must be ashamed of themselves. I say this to the President of South Africa (Cyril Ramaphosa) that is ‘unAfrican’.

“It is not acceptable. You must do something about that otherwise, South Africa is going to be in serious trouble.”

“We did not see what is happening in South Africa elsewhere, where a person like a former president is harassed. That is sending the wrong message about us as Africans. Our liberation heroes are harassed and that is unacceptable.”

Ndibali also condemned the human rights abuses happening in eSwatini where dozens of people have been killed in anti-government protests.

“We condemn the human rights abuses taking place in eSwatini. We are calling for restraint and genuine engagement. The President of Botswana (Mokgweetsi Masisi) must do more, and he must not take this lightly.”

Masisi is the chairperson of the SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security (Troika).

“It is putting not only Swaziland that is at risk. The SADC Troika must be inclusive and not side-line other players.” – New Zimbabwe.


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