2021 Local Elections


RET: Zuma plans big-bang show of popularity at welcome home prayer meeting

Former president Jacob Zuma. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is worried about what a no-show by the former president will mean for it on 1 November.

In a show of force, former president Jacob Zuma and his foundation will hold a prayer meeting to welcome him back from jail at the People’s Park, Moses Mabhida Stadium, in Durban on Thursday, 14 October.

Out of jail on medical parole, Zuma looks weak, but is not bedridden. In a video recording released by the Jacob G Zuma Foundation last week, he endorsed the ANC for the 1 November election. 

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal was worried that the party would suffer at the polls without an endorsement. Voter registration is weak across the country, particularly in KZN. Zuma’s jailing angered ANC voters in the province in July; some of the party’s rank and file organised the rioting and looting which followed his jailing.  

The ANC is likely to be most affected by a stayaway vote. Of the 38.57 million people who can vote, only 26.2 million have registered to do so. Roughly half of registered voters vote on local election days, although interest in the local poll was higher in 2016.  

In KZN, 5.4 million of the 7.18 million eligible voters have registered to vote on 1 November. 

Zuma’s advisers know his popularity and these numbers (which are perilous for the party in its heartland province). The Radical Economic Transformation (RET) grouping will use the prayer meeting to put the former president back on the agenda. In this way it will give itself a stage since its visibility has declined. The election campaign has shifted the focus to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is the only face of the election, and his campaign programme in KZN was choreographed over the past weekend to show large crowds and acceptance on the ground. Zuma’s prayer meeting is a response and a plan to show that he is still the provincial Big Daddy. 

Zuma’s foundation, with the RET faction, has put big organisation and logistics into the prayer meeting.

It was launched in the media heartland of Gauteng at Sandton’s Maslow Hotel on 8 October at a fully organised event with entertainment. The programme on Thursday will have national prayers from major church denominations to welcome Zuma back from jail. Zuma was released on medical parole more than a month ago after former Correctional Services commissioner Arthur Fraser overrode the opinion of the prison medical parole appeal board to grant a unilateral get-out-of-jail-free card. 

Ramaphosa gave the release a nod and a wink, although he later tried to distance himself from the endorsement of Fraser’s decision, saying he had been informed about it while travelling. Zuma’s foundation is billing the prayer meeting as its event and it has criticised attempts by the ANC in the province to hijack it.

In July, Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Constitutional Court for contempt. It is likely that he would have been eligible for parole in four months, but Fraser sprung him out in just under two, most of which was spent in the prison hospital in Estcourt.

“His Excellency, President Zuma, is loved by an overwhelming majority of the people of South Africa and all of them have been worried about his incarceration. Some were concerned that horrible things might happen to him while incarcerated,” said spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi. 

In case cynics wonder about exposing the poorly Zuma to a potential superspreader event, Manyi said: “God’s atmosphere will ensure that coronavirus is blown away and not passed on between the attendees.” DM


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All Comments 49

  • Like Trump, Zuma will do anything to get back his powerbase for self enrichment – dignity, honesty and morality don’t enter into his psyche!
    If he is well enough to attend a “prayer meeting” with possibly thousands of people then he is well enough to serve out his sentence.
    The double standards of this ANC government is mind boggling! And embarrassing!

  • Loved for robbing the citizens of this country and presiding over the hollowing out of the State.?!!
    If you destroy the education system then you get a compliant citizens – great strategy ANC.

  • “Ramaphosa gave the release a nod and a wink”. That simple sentence makes me realise that CR is the weakest link and is leading directly to the downfall of this country. He’s not even man enough to deal with JZ or even Arthur Fraser. Gutless to his very core.

    • That cr for you …. another gutless deployee doing what he is told to do while corruption and trough feeding to benefit the anc continues.

  • Any dancing and medical parole should be revoked. Religious? Praying? And yet the ten commandments are ignored, especially the one about stealing. it’s laughable.

  • here we go again. medical parole does not mean one can attend political covid spreading rallies. apologies I forgot about shabby shaik and golf! sickening display and show of finger to the people of this country.

  • Jaw dropping. The ANC clearly feels sure of the ignorance of its stadium fodder. If he’s well enough for this he’s well enough for prison. Will the prison authorities act? No they’ll probably join the festivities.

  • Well, my prayer is that God has been tallying up all his sins and the harm he has caused his countrymen, with absolutely no remorse and decides this is enough! He then acts kindly towards South Africa by blessing us with a massive lightning bolt at the Stadium.

  • “Zuma’s foundation, with the RET faction, has put big organisation and logistics into the prayer meeting.”

    Where are they getting the money?

    • Obviously … from the Gupta foundation ! That this so-called Zuma ‘foundation’ has not been investigated as a front for money-laundering … remains a mystery to me ! Based on the words of his excellency Manyi’s (or is it money?), don’t be surprised if the the now ex CJ is not nominated to headline the ‘prayer’ … now that he is free to pursue his first love of being a lay pastor . He could use the occasion to demonise the use of vaccines and thus fulfill Manyi’s words of ‘divine’ protection for his jail-bird keeper !

  • A Luta Continua !! The Struggle (to steal from the country’s coffers to fund the Africans Nationalising Corruption) continues. The JZ IQ (Irrelevance Quotient) needs to continue to improve and the challenge DM faces is to balance “airing” these types of events with ignoring them totally so that they are starved into insignificance. Not an easy task.

    • The lust for monopolising ‘power’ (to serve ‘their’ interests rather the people they are supposed to serve) by parties … is so inebriating, that they would do anything to justify it, including embracing a corruption specialist (and defier of the law) in their ranks ! This includes the deployment of a sinister corrupting influence like Fraser in their ranks .

  • The less airtime this Big Bang gets , the better the country will be. But you can bet your bottom dollar, all the journalists( including the so-called liberal ones) will all be jostling to get in on the show!Wonder which bigwigs from the ANC will be in attendance or at least send well wishes!Am sure despite the ancient one’s fragile health, Covid regulations as to social distancing and masks , won’t be observed!

  • Please God, let them be done & dusted by 2pm! Id hate to miss my gym class.
    And please let them take all their litter with them.
    Now Jimmy Manyi speaks for God. This claim is in the same league as Donald Trump’s suggestion that injecting bleach into people could sanitise the virus away – only more ludicrous. Isn’t there some law that makes spreading fake claims about the virus illegal? Perhaps it’s time to implement that.

  • If he’s well enough to be celebrating & organising politico-religious gatherings, he’s well enough to finish his sentence in jail!

  • Dearest His Excellency, President Zuma – I will be interceding that with your inevitable return to the dust from which you came, that our Lord Jesus judges fairly and hands you in full what you have earned in this life. There is no pleading or obfuscating in the presence of the creator of the universe my friend – you will receive what is rightly yours! When I get there I’ll swing by to see how yr holding up 🙂

  • Did it happen? I was praying also…that he might be scooped up by aliens and transported to Mars without a return ticket – he is worse than the “kat kom weer”!

  • Why don’t the corrupt just accept they are wrong and say sorry?
    Media that gives a fool like Zuma “air to speak” should be boycotted?

  • Manyi’s statement that an overwhelming majority of South Africans love Zuma is laughable.
    He and his faithful have destroyed so much on their road to self enrichment – shameless bunch!!

  • Oh for heaven sake who is footing the bill? Please can’t we just load him into a SAA plane with his wives, cattle and children and ship him off to Dubai?

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