ANC first deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane stated that the party should not be seen to be interfering with Jacob Zuma’s case. Zuma’s medical parole was recently ruled to be unlawful by the Constitutional Court, which could see the former president return to jail. It is now up to correctional services commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale to decide if Zuma must return to jail.
Mokonyane added that the ANC will not lobby the government to pardon former president Jacob Zuma. When asked whether the ANC would call for the pardoning of the former president, Mokonyane said: “That would be called interference. The most important thing is that we think there has to be objectivity in handling this matter, and the relevant authorities have that task of reflecting on it and ensuring that it is handled in a manner that will not create unnecessary perceptions going forward.”
Zuma was jailed in 2021 and was expected to serve a 15-month sentence for defying a subpoena to give evidence at the Zondo Commission. Former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser released the former president on medical parole in a decision that has been ruled unlawful.
While the ANC will not lobby for a pardon for Zuma, the EFF has indicated it would ask President Cyril Ramaphosa to pardon him should he be sent back to jail. EFF leader Julius Malema said on Friday: “If they say he must go to [jail], I will go to him and argue my case with him that the guy is sick. The guy is old; his struggle credentials, his service to the public office and the fact that he served time in prison and the fact that parole on its own does not mean you are free; you continue to serve even from outside. It is enough for you to give him a presidential pardon to avoid the possibility of instability which was experienced in KZN.”
On coalition governments following next year’s general elections, Mokonyane neither rejected the DA nor EFF as potential partners should no party receive outright majorities in provincial legislatures or the National Assembly. She said the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) had decided to establish regulations that would govern how to work in coalitions in the future and those regulations must clearly state the minimum programmes. Mokonyane added: “We will work with everyone and anyone who agrees with us on those minimum programmes. So, the NEC [has] yet to deliberate and do an assessment of the current coalitions. Gauteng [has] yet to give us a report as well.”
Warning from Ronnie Kasrils
Meanwhile, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils warned Ramaphosa he should not allow South Africa to be a “pawn” to imperialist nations. Kasrils said Western nations were warmongers, referring to Russia’s war with Ukraine, calling Ukraine NATO’s “proxy”. He added: “If we don’t stand foursquare together, those imperialists – comrade president [Ramaphosa], you will know it more than us – will want to browbeat us into being their pawns.”