Show of Force
Herman Scholtz, Msimelelo Njwabane
The ANC and its alliance partners want to bring the country to a standstill when the request of ANC president Jacob Zuma to stay his prosecution begins in the Supreme Court in Pietermaritzburg.
A delegation of seven ANC leaders yesterday launched a renewed attack on the integrity of the judiciary, saying it is "part of the plot to deny Zuma the state presidency".
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said that the case against Zuma "must end on Monday".
Plans to hold marches in support of Zuma in Pietermaritzburg and elsewhere in the country were announced at the same time.
The seven ANC leaders addressed the media at Lanseria Airport outside Johannesburg. Also part of the delegation were ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, treasurer-general Matthews Phosa and Youth League president Julius Malema.
Phosa said people should "immediately stop making pronouncements about the merits of the case against Zuma".
Mantashe said the state does not have a case against Zuma and that "this case must be closed on Monday".
The group of leaders said they were not surprised that the appeal court found on Thursday that the National Prosecuting Authority's seizure of documents belonging to Zuma was legal.
The ANC's deputy president, Motlanthe, also stood up for Zuma yesterday.
"Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law," he wrote in ANC Today, quoting from the Constitution, and continued: "Sadly, that has not been the case in the eight-year-long pursuit of Jacob Zuma. He has not enjoyed the right of fair and equal treatment *1.
"The ANC will therefore vigorously resist any attempts to undermine the collective will of its membership or the freely expressed will of the South African people."
For full coverage of the trial, read The Witness *2 next week.
With acknowledgements to Herman Scholtz, Msimelelo Njwabane and The Witness.