Zuma clan leader says release of former president on medical parole is long overdue
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Durban - The traditional leader of the Zuma clan in Mpendle in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands has welcomed the release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole, saying it was a long-overdue move.
Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma said they have always been clear as a clan that the former head of state was not supposed to be jailed in the first place, and now that he is out on medical parole, they are relieved.
The traditional leader made these remarks during an interview with Independent Media on Tuesday.
Zuma was granted medical parole by the Department of Correctional Services on Sunday. This was almost two months after he started serving his 15 months jail term for contempt of the Constitutional Court.
Zuma spent just over a month at Estcourt prison before he was taken for a medical check-up that later became a full-blown medical treatment.
“Of course, we welcome his release on medical parole. In fact, that is what we have always wanted. We wanted him to be released,” the traditional leader said.
Inkosi Zuma said once Zuma is back at his Nkandla home, they would, on a date that is yet to be determined, conduct a traditional ceremony to report to the ancestors that he has been freed, albeit with conditions.
The traditional leader had harsh words for Zuma opponents, saying the jailing of the former leader was the work of outside forces who manipulated State organs to get even with Zuma for trying to correct the economic imbalances of the past during his nine-year presidency.
“We are not in power. We are in power just by name. There are people who run the country from the outside and make decisions. Even the (Zondo) commission was formed for Zuma and the other people who got caught during its sittings were caught by mistake. The target was Zuma,” he said.
He added that it was crystal clear even to a toddler.
“Even a child can see that. All the evidence is there for all to see. This is the work of infiltrators. You will recall that when we were fighting for freedom, there were infiltrators who were reporting back to their handlers.
The ANC came back with them and did not weed them out, hoping that they would change. Now, those infiltrators are being used by those who planted,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, The Office of the Chief Justice on Tuesday announced that the Zuma hearing, which was billed to be an in-person one at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, would now be virtual.
The hearing would be held on Thursday and Friday this week, and there is a brewing argument between Zuma’s lawyers and the State over whether the medical note from the military health services should be the only supporting claims that he is sick and unable to come to court.