‘This meeting takes place when I have been left dry and without much-needed support from you …’
Former president Jacob Zuma accused the ANC’s top six of conspiring to see him put behind bars during their meeting held virtually last month.
He further slammed the officials who sought to convince him to appear before the state capture commission – telling them that their visit was for a public show and under false pretences.
On Sunday, a 23-page document of speaking notes, based on the two-hour-long meeting was released on social media. It was on a letterhead bearing the name of Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma dated March 28 and addressed to the secretary-general of the ANC.
“Comrades, today you have come to me seeking to show that I am wrong in not going to the state capture commission charged by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. You come under the pretext of sympathy to me and to convince me to testify before the commission. Basically, this meeting is not about the issues I have raised, which should concern you, but a public show aimed at displaying to forces external to the ANC so that you can rein me in,” he said.
The meeting took place weeks after Zuma publicly defied a ConCourt ruling instructing him to appear and answer questions on his role as a former head of state. In the meeting, Zuma is said to have spoken for two hours.
The commission has heard evidence from more than 200 witnesses, several of whom implicated Zuma.
“It is not that you have sympathy for me. This is part of your ruse in the public’s eye. In the more recent years, the ANC has never protected me as I faced unjustified attacks that I assisted the Guptas capture the state. You know very well that is not true, but you left the narrative to run along.
“You have looked the other way as I was being attacked and some of my own comrades made and continue to attack me and my work as [former] president of RSA through the narrative of nine wasted years,” he argued.
Zuma laid bare his woes with the law post 1994. He cited the arms deal, Nkandla saga, rape trial, and investigations by the office of the public protector, among other matters.
“I have never enjoyed a single day of freedom. My woes started soon after the dawn of democracy. Since then, I was to be a permanent target and scapegoat of forces internal and external to our movement,” he said.
The former president further made mention of the “lack of protection” endured during his presidency tenure.
“My own comrades worked to oust me and even worked with the opposition to remove an ANC president from parliament – something that was unprecedented. To this day, I do not understand what led to this. I asked some of you, what was it that I had done wrong for me to deserve to be pushed out of this position before the term ended,” Zuma said.
The former president maintained his position on the independence of the judiciary and explained why he would not appear before Zondo.
“I am entitled in terms of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa to hold and express views, opinions and beliefs about the judiciary. I am entitled to freedom of conscience and it is my right to conscience that I refuse to participate in the judicial process that appears to lack the attributes of independence.
“It’s no longer just Zondo, the Constitutional Court itself has become biased.”
Zuma maintained his defiance, saying, “I am not prepared to be buried alive”.
By Nonkulule Njilo – TimesLIVE