Former South African President Jacob Zuma will no longer attend today’s (July 2) state funeral for Zambia’s founding father Dr Kenneth Kaunda, after a court sentenced him to 15 months in prison for contempt.
Mr Zuma was convicted earlier this week for snubbing an inquiry into allegations of corruption related to his tenure as President of South Africa from 2009 to 2018.
He was given five days to surrender to authorities for incarceration, and reports indicate the Zuma family fear he will be arrested while trying to attend the funeral of fellow liberation fighter, Dr Kaunda.
At the same time, there are reports that Mr Zuma has been invited to attend the ruling ANC’s National Executive Committee meeting this weekend, where the party will decide whether or not to stand with its former leader.
“He is not going (to Dr Kaunda’s funeral), he can’t. That will give them a chance to arrest him on the way,” a family elder who asked not to be identified was quoted by TimesLIVE saying.
The Jacob G Zuma Foundation refused to comment on his schedule.
His foundation would not be drawn into discussing the matter.
“The diary of President Zuma is not discussed with media because of security considerations” said foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi.
Meanwhile, former ANC councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality Andile Lungisa has called for a nationwide shutdown in support of Mr Zuma.
He said the shutdown was not under the banner of the ANC or Radical Economic Transformation group, but was for all South Africans concerned with what he termed violation of the country’s constitution.”If police they’ve got bullets, they must kill all of us. That is the message which we are communicating … We are saying this time around we will respond. Because we are saying there is no way any system that tampers with justice should have a place. We are not going to rest until the ConCourt judges resign,” Lungisa said. – Agencies