The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) have said it was unlikely that former president, Jacob Zuma would get a fair trial in South Africa.
In a statement on Saturday, the ANC national executive committee member and national spokesperson of the MKMVA, Carl Niehaus, said they had noted the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shaun Abrahams, to reinstate charges of corruption against Zuma.
Niehaus said the MKMVA concurred with the African National Congress’ confidence in the country’s criminal justice system and respected the independence of the judiciary, but said they did not feel Zuma would get a fair trial in the country.
“MKMVA will, however, be amiss not to raise our serious and well considered concern whether it will be possible for Comrade Jacob Zuma to receive a fair and unbiased trial in the context of the decades long and vicious personal and politically motivated attacks that have been launched against him in public and by the mainstream media,” said Niehaus.
“This must be a matter of genuine concern because there can be no doubt that every South African citizen – including all our judges – have been bombarded and influenced by the avalanche of negative publicity, character assassination and kangaroo courts that been conducted against Comrade Zuma,” he said.
“Professional and fair as our justice system strives to be, the judiciary cannot escape this harsh reality and will have to face it head-on.”
‘Innocent until prove guilty’
Niehaus said the MKMVA also strongly asserted Zuma’s inalienable right to be presumed innocent until, and if, proven guilty.
He also condemned the antics of DA leader, Mmusi Maimane following the announcement.
“We could not but notice with disgust the infantile behaviour of the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mr Mmusi Maimane, who was yesterday clowning with popping champagne bottles outside the offices of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), toasting his and his party’s utter disdain for any sober and fair legal process.”
“The Democratic Alliance, and all others who are behaving similarly, should be ashamed of themselves for having become nothing else but a frenzied lynch mob,” he said.
Niehaus said the MKMVA called on all South Africans to reject such behaviour with the disdain that it deserved.
“We reiterate the call of the ANC on all South Africans at large to afford the NPA space to conduct its work unhindered,” he said.
Niehaus said the MKMVA had huge respect for Zuma’s contributions to the liberation of South Africa as one of the best – and most successful – commanders of Umkhontho we Sizwe (MK).
“It goes without saying that Comrade Zuma remains a full and greatly respected member of MKMVA,” he said.
“As toughened liberation fighters, with our loyalty forged on the battlefield, we know what true comradeship means. There may be others who turn out to be opportunists and fair-weather friends – but we in MKMVA will certainly not be counted among them.” – News24