Former president Jacob Zuma could not hold his joy as he celebrated the end of his prison sentence.
Singing for his supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg high court this week, He expressed delight with the support he has received since the expiry of his prison sentence,.
Zuma appeared at the court on Monday, where his private prosecution of state advocate Billy Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan case was heard. The matter has been postponed to February 2023.
The former president was accompanied by ANC provincial chairperson Siboniso Duma and deputy chairperson Nomagugu Simelane.
Members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) sang and chanted outside court.
“I am going to sing for you. I am no longer a prisoner,” Zuma said in isiZulu, before singing Umshini Wami.
Describing the expiry of his 15-month sentence, Zuma said he felt the same way he felt in 1973 after being released from Robben Island.
“It is a day of mixed emotions. I am relieved to be free again to walk around and do whatever I want to do without restrictions and having to seek permission, in the same manner that I felt in 1973 when I was released from Robben Island.
“Only this time, I am also filled with sadness. It was the first time ever that the Constitutional Court sentenced any person to a term of imprisonment and without even the benefit of a trial. I never expected this to happen during the freedom and democracy we fought so hard to attain,” he said in a statement.
Zuma thanked his supporters for their well wishes.
“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to South Africans from all walks of life for the unwavering support and love during a most difficult and trying period,” he said.
“The phone calls, visits and messages of support on social media and other platforms kept me strong and focused on ensuring that those who wanted to break my spirit and resolve do not succeed.
“I also appreciate the prayer meetings and other gatherings that were organised during the incarceration period. These gave me and my family much encouragement and upliftment.”
[WATCH] Former president Jacob Zuma sings "Umshini Wam" outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court where his private prosecution of Adv. Billy Downer and journalist Karyn Maughan was postponed to February 2 2023.#Newzroom405 #JacobZuma pic.twitter.com/zy0ooWsuCm
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) October 10, 2022