Issuing of warrant labelled as ‘hasty’
While the courts may issue warrants of arrest against him, former president Jacob Zuma, is prioritising his health. This was a message by Zuma to a group of supporters gathered at the OR Tambo International Airport to welcome him from Cuba, where he was hospitalised for two weeks.
Wearing black sunglasses, a red tie and a black suit, the fragile former statesman said the doctors in Cuba did a procedure on his eyes, which is why he was wearing sunglasses.
“The judge made a ruling on my medical certificates among other things. But my health and life is my priority,” said Zuma.
Zuma failed to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for a sitting on his corruption trial early this month, with his lawyers citing a medical condition for his absence.
He addressed judge Dhaya Pillay’s decision to issue a warrant of arrest and said the judge made a “hasty” decision. Pillay has said the sick note submitted by his legal team was inadmissible due to inconsistencies.
The warrant was stayed until May 6, when Zuma’s criminal matter is expected back in court.
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina addressed the crowd, saying that ubuntu needed to be practised.
“You can’t arrest someone who is not well. We are making this statement that our leader is not well and because you are in a rush to arrest him and kill his history in the African National Congress, we are ready to be arrested for president Zuma,” he said.
Supporter Phumzile Masuku, who joined the group to welcome Zuma, said: “I am glad his life is no longer in danger so that he can answer for himself and not to be spoken for by other people.”