An audio recording of ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula offering his opinion on the restarted corruption trial against former president Jacob Zuma emerged on Friday and has since been verified as authentic.
In the clip the former sport and later police minister can be heard saying it was wrong for the ANC to tell its members not to support Zuma in court, and particularly not to do so in any official or party capacity.
He criticised the party’s new leadership for treating Zuma as if he is convicted when he remains nothing more than an accused who should be presumed innocent until found guilty by the courts.
He strongly references the view that Zuma has been the victim of a political conspiracy.
“We are meddling and fighting battles of other people that are not sustainable. I rest my case.”
The Sunday papers have been full of rumour and speculation about how the pursuance of the case against Zuma is threatening to split the ANC again.
The Sunday Times reports that KwaZulu-Natal leaders are allegedly threatening to have voters in the province not support the ANC nationally while voting for the ANC provincially or even supporting a new party with Zuma as the face.
City Press reports that Zuma’s supporters have been struggling to fund their campaign in support of him, but that they intend to keep taking it “to the streets” as Zuma launches a multi-pronged defence that will focus on discrediting the KPMG report against him, the fact that it will be difficult to prove he had any intention to act in a corrupt manner with regards to the arms deal and other strategies.