Sunday World

HOW ZUMA ISOLATED CLOSE ALLIES

• Some members of the former president’s family and Carl Niehaus were kept in the dark over his plans to hand himself over • The former statesman met with several people on Tuesday, including prison’s boss and ally Arthur Fraser

- By Sandile Motha and George Matlala

Jailed former president Jacob Zuma secretly negotiated terms for handing himself over to prison with top Correction­al Services and police officials without the knowledge of key ANC leaders in his inner circle.

Sunday World can today reveal that leaders of the so-called radical economic transforma­tion (RET) forces and some family members were in the dark over negotiatio­ns – ongoing even on Tuesday - for Zuma to surrender and serve his 15 months sentence for contempt of court.

A source said Zuma’s turning himself in had thrown the RET forces, led by suspended ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, into turmoil and weakened the party’s local government election campaign in Kwazulu-natal.

“JZ [Zuma] family, Carl Niehaus [suspended spokespers­on of the defunct Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Associatio­n (MKMVA], did not know that JZ had decided to hand himself over. He did it behind their backs,” the mole said.

“He [Zuma] met with several people as early as Tuesday, including Arthur Fraser [National Commission­er of Correction­al Services] whom he knows from exile. They agreed that he will hand himself over and serve at Estcourt,” the source added.

Zuma on Wednesday night handed himself in at the Escourt Correction­al Centre on the 11thhour, after the Police Department indicated that he was going to be fetched from his house by a specialise­d team of cops.

“RET forces are now on the backfoot with JZ being in prison. He has been their kingpin, seen to command support but he disarmed them especially his senior supporters in the ANC on the ground,” the leader said.

Nhlakaniph­o Ntombela, ANC KZN’S spokespers­on, said Zuma’s arrest posed a threat to the stability of the country, and had thrown their election plan into disarray. “We have to sit down as the PEC and take stock of what has happened. But we are not in dispute that the arrest of Zuma is not an ideal situation for the party and the country. That is why we are also moving to call for his early release,” said Ntombela.

The party’s KZN chairperso­n and premier Sihle Zikalala has called for a presidenti­al pardon for Zuma.

This came as violent protests to free Zuma erupted in KZN, with indication­s it will spill over to Gauteng. The #Release Zuma campaign has been gaining momentum with key economic zones in the province engulfed by violent protests. especially on the N3.

The protests, said the organisers, have also been planned for Gauteng province with various hostels said to be the breeding ground for the unrest, and targeted for them.

Ngizwenkos­iyami Mchunu, one of the march organisers, said a gathering was planned for Gauteng’s famous traditiona­l market kwamai -Mai.

Taxi operators, both from Gauteng and KZN, have also been roped in to lead the protests.

On Saturday, videos circulated of cars making their way to Gauteng to demand the release of Zuma.

Zweli Dladla, the coordinato­r of taxi associatio­ns in KZN, said from Monday they would join other taxi associatio­ns in Gauteng.

“There will be chaos and blood on the streets and nothing will move until Zuma is released,” he said.

Nkosentsha Shezi, a staunch Zuma supporter and former ANC Youth League leader, told Sunday World on Saturday that Zuma’s arrest would leave irreparabl­e damage to the governing party.

“Umsholozi [Zuma] is the father of radical economic transforma­tion and was the only remaining true liberator of the marginalis­ed.

“He is the political heavyweigh­t and the glue that kept the ANC together in the province.

“It was his presence which ensured that the

ANC recorded decisive victory in all elections.

“Even people who were not supporters of the ANC, they voted for him and believed in his vision for the country,” Shezi said.

Fraser could not be reached for comment.

It was his presence which ensured that the ANC recorded victory

 ?? /Gal lo Images ?? Former president Jacob Zuma has started serving his 15-month jail sentence at the state-of-the-art Estcourt Correction­al Centre.
/Gal lo Images Former president Jacob Zuma has started serving his 15-month jail sentence at the state-of-the-art Estcourt Correction­al Centre.
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 ??  ?? Arthur Fraser
Arthur Fraser
 ??  ?? Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma

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