A “platoon” of military veterans will maintain a “constant presence” outside former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead to “protect him”.
This is according to uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus, speaking to TimesLIVE after a marathon meeting between the association and the former president on Thursday.
Niehaus said the meeting, which lasted more than seven hours, “went very well”. He said there was an in-depth discussion on the “current state of affairs in SA”, and they spoke “in detail” about Zuma’s defiance of a Constitutional Court order compelling him to appear at the state capture commission.
“In the meeting, he reiterated that he definitely will not go to the commission,” said Niehaus.
It was a decision, he said, the MKMVA “fully supported”.
Niehaus added that the military vets were “fundamentally opposed to any warrant of arrest and for him to be arrested”.
“We’ll do everything within our means and protect him, and prevent him from being arrested. A platoon of MKMVA soldiers were at Nkandla when we arrived and they formed a guard of honour. The intention is for them to stay there, and from time-to-time to change platoons. But there will be a constant presence to protect president Zuma,” said Niehaus.
The MKMVA spokesperson confirmed that they snubbed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s state of the nation address, even though it started at the time that they were still at the Nkandla homestead.
He said the meeting “wasn’t concluded” when Sona started at 7pm.
“We didn’t watch it. We continued with our discussions,” he said, adding that these discussions also covered the state of BEE in SA, that many black businesses suffered and that black executives were “under attack and were being undermined”.
Niehaus said that Zuma was “in very good spirits”.
“He visibly enjoyed the meeting. There was much laughter and bantering in between discussions. I think he was happy to see old comrades of the MK and was happy with the support that the MKMVA gave him,” said Niehaus.