#UnrestSA: Zuma ‘understands the Constitution’, would call for calm if he had means – Ndabeni-Abrahams

#UnrestSA: Zuma ‘understands the Constitution’, would call for calm if he had means – Ndabeni-Abrahams

  • Former president Jacob Zuma would not promote the
    lawlessness currently happening in democratic South Africa, according to
    Cabinet ministers.
  • Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
    said Zuma would have called out the riots if he had access to social platforms.
  • Ndabeni-Abrahams and Transport Minister Fikile
    Mbalula said those who were now pro-Zuma supporters were doing so because it
    was “fashionable”.

Former president Jacob Zuma “understands the
Constitution very well” and would call out the violence and promote calm
if he had access to communication platforms, Communications Minister Stella
Ndabeni-Abrahams has said.

Ndabeni-Abrahams, along with Transport Minister
Fikile Mbalula, appealed to people to stop using Zuma’s name as an excuse for
the ongoing looting and theft in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The ministers were speaking at Jabulani Mall in
Soweto alongside their Cabinet colleagues, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane and Ronald
Lamola.

They visited the mall to conduct a walkabout after
it was ransacked and looted.

Sympathisers of the now-jailed former president had
called people to rise up following his imprisonment at Estcourt Correctional
Centre last Wednesday.

No longer about Zuma

A week later, the country was in chaos, with malls,
distribution warehouses and essential service centres, such as clinics, being
damaged and looted.

The Constitutional Court sentenced Zuma to 15
months after he failed to appear before the Zondo Commission even when he was
ordered to do so by the court.

Four days since the unrest erupted and became
widespread, it became apparent the unrest was no longer about Zuma but more
criminal, driven by what some government officials described as “experienced”
operation agents.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said:

If they (unrest campaigners) respect president Zuma, they must know that what they are doing in his name is wrong. He understands the Constitution very well. Anybody who is using Nxamalala’s name to advance their criminal and selfish interests, must desist from doing so.

She and Mbalula added those who were pro-Zuma now
were only doing so because it was “fashionable”, but they were not
his biggest fans when it was not.

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Dlomo a prime suspect for instigating unrest

Ndabeni Abrahams said: “We know former
president Zuma. We know what he can do but we also know when he can be misled
because of his human character. I have a belief that if president Zuma were to
have access to what we are talking about today, he would do the right thing,
[only] if he had access to communication platforms, and call for calm in our
country.

“I know he fought for this freedom. I know he
still believes that he can save South Africa by playing his part and that means
he has to say ‘not in his name’.”

Cabinet ministers on walkabout at Jabulani Mall fo

Cabinet ministers Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Ronald Lamola, Fikile Mbalula and Mmamoloko Kubayi after a walkabout at Jabulani Mall.

Mbalula urged people to not be misused by
“faceless” instigators.

He said Zuma would “never condone
anarchy”.

Mbalula added that criminals and anarchists were
the reason behind the chaos and have used this as an excuse to get Zuma out of
jail.

He said: 

In this particular instance, we equally understand in our society there were people who were very close to the former president. When he gets arrested and goes to jail, it is not a moment to celebrate… But our country is what it is, it is a democratic state…

He said it was not nice seeing Zuma jailed, but the
law needed to be abided by, adding not even President Cyril Ramaphosa was above
it.

“The judiciary is doing its job. It doesn’t
mean we don’t criticise it. But we do it within confines of the law, like the
lawyers of president [Zuma] were doing in courts. But those who are burning
stores are not fighting for the president. They are just everywhere with
chicken audacities in the dark. If you believe in vandalism, show yourself and
tell us why you are doing it.”

Mbalula added the unrest was not a proper way of
fighting the former president’s jailing.


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