The ANC has appealed to members of the public to be patient and allow the courts to deal with the Jacob Zuma matter following the warrant of arrest issued for the former president on Tuesday.
“Former president Jacob Zuma is a law-abiding citizen who has consistently respected the courts and submitted himself to judicial processes regardless of his stature. He has always cooperated with law enforcement agencies whenever asked to do so,” ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement.
Read : Arrest warrant for Zuma after NPA gets tough over failure to attend court
On Tuesday the Pietermaritzburg High Court issued the warrant of arrest after Zuma failed to appear in court in relation to the arms deal case. But the warrant was stayed until May 6, when the case is scheduled to resume.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) requested the warrant, seen by some people as a tough stance on Zuma’s continued absenteeism in the court case.
The NPA’s Billy Downer said the sick note provided by Zuma’s defence team raised more questions than answers “and proves nothing”.
He labelled the medical certificate as “hearsay evidence” that was not accepted by the state.
Meanwhile, the ANC’s National Youth Task Team said the warrant of arrest “is a ploy to vilify Zuma and discredit the validity of the sick note”.
“Refusal of the sick note for Cde Zuma is proof that there is a mission to destroy what is left of him and his dignity. Today we see former president Zuma hunted down like a serial killer which he is not. His sickness has been turned into a joke,” it said.
In your sober mind, you cannot think that a person who has suffered so much in his political life, at the age of Zuma, cannot get sick.”
ANC's National Youth Task Team
The organisation then suggests that former president FW de Klerk has over the years received better treatment than Zuma, despite his involvement in “crime[s] against humanity”.
“For all the crimes that the white establishment committed against humanity, it had to find a scapegoat and Zuma became an easy target,” read the statement.
“Former president Zuma is only human like every one of us. In your sober mind, you cannot think that a person who has suffered so much in his political life, at the age of Zuma, cannot get sick.”
The task team has accused the judiciary of turning itself into a “public opinion arena”.
“The warrant of arrest simply stands as a test to the people and we warn the judiciary and its friends – do not threaten the peace of our country, do not threaten the patience of our people. If you start a fire, you are bound to see flames,” the statement read.