Vote for Ramaphosa, Zuma says to followers

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Former president Jacob Zuma has asked his supporters to convert their support for him into votes so that the ANC can win next year’s election with a two-thirds majority.

He was speaking to hundreds of his supporters and ANC members who had gathered at Freedom Square, across the High Court in Pietermaritzburg where he earlier appeared for fraud and corruption charges.

“Let’s change this support to real power. Vote for this man, don’t desert him,” he said, referring to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma said it was wrong for ANC members not to vote just because they didn’t like a certain person.

He said freedom was incomplete because: “We only have political power but not economical power. What is that?” he asked.

He said the party still needed the majority vote to correct the wrongs of the past.

Zuma reiterated that he was still a member of the ANC and didn’t need an invitation to campaign for the party.

“I don’t need to be asked to campaign. I have a full right of campaigning for the organisation. I want the organisation to win with two-thirds majority.”

‘This case should just end’

He thanked all organisations that were supporting him and the ANC for showing “that you want justice”.

“Even the pastors that are supporting me. Just because I am being charged doesn’t mean I am guilty, until the court says so. I am grateful that they are courageous even though they are being attacked. I won’t say who attacks them because they are not here,” he said.

Zuma told his supporters, who had also held a night vigil at Freedom Square, that his new lawyers wanted a stay of prosecution in his case.

“They said this case should end and not be tried. They will provide reasons for why it won’t bring justice now and it should end,” he said.

Zuma also voiced other frustrations.

“This case does not end. It is always here,” he said. “The prosecutor said he was ready to proceed with the case but said there’s another charge he will add against number 2, meaning the indictment is incomplete. The prosecutor was saying he is ready to argue the case. He was asked how he’s ready if he says he still wants to add a charge. There are also a lot of documents that must be studied,” said Zuma.

He also said his lawyers were confident that they would win the case.

“They are not scared of the case. My lawyers say it should just end,” he said.

Former ministers in Zuma’s Cabinet Faith Muthambi and Des van Rooyen, ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair Sihle Zikalala, former ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary Super Zuma and ANC Youth League KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo were in court to support Zuma.

Some of Zuma’s supporters drove from as far as Limpopo and Gauteng to support him.