Carl Niehaus: Zuma back in SA on Saturday, ‘thousands’ expected at airport

Carl Niehaus: Zuma back in SA on Saturday, ‘thousands’ expected at airport

South Africa's embattled former president Jacob Zuma appears in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on corruption charges, in what would be the first time he faces trial for graft despite multiple accusations, in Pietermaritzburg on October 15, 2019. Picture: Michele Spatari / POOL / AFP

‘Let us gather in our thousands to welcome Msholozi back home,’ a statement reads in bold capital letters.

Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to return to South Africa on Saturday after receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness in Cuba, and “thousands will gather” to welcome him.

This is according to Carl Niehaus, who tweeted a statement on behalf of the Gauteng Radical Economic Transformation (RET) President Zuma Support Group.

“Let us gather in our thousands to welcome Msholozi back home,” the statement reads in bold capital letters.

Niehaus urged supporters to gather at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg “no later” than 10am.

“Let’s give Msholozi a resounding welcome and denounce the vindictive warrant of arrest.”

While a warrant of arrest has been issued against Zuma, it won’t be executed before he is due to appear in court again in May.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg acceded to a request to issue a warrant of arrest for Zuma for non-attendance at his corruption trial on 4 February. Zuma’s legal team submitted to court that the former president was ill.

While Judge Dhaya Pillay issued the warrant, the execution thereof was stayed until 6 May, when Zuma is expected to appear in court again.

Niehaus told News24 while the exact time of Zuma’s landing was a security-related issue, supporters should make sure they are at the airport at 10am.

He could not give an exact estimate, but Niehaus said he expected that many people would be at the airport to welcome the former president.

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