The campaign by supporters of former president Jacob Zuma calling for his immediate release from prison on Friday issued a list of demands to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government.
The campaign led by the former president’s staunch ally and suspended ANC member, Carl Niehaus, said the memorandum of demands would be delivered to Ramaphosa’s office with a deadline of 14 days for him to respond.
The group said it would continue to take part in peaceful demonstrations within the confines of the law until Zuma is released from jail.
Among the demands is the withdrawal of all cases Zuma is facing in the country’s courts and the lifting of lockdown regulations, which they believe are being used to “repress the freedom of political expression and freedom of speech.”
The provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been engulfed by violence, looting and the destruction of public property in recent days that government has characterised as “clear economic sabotage” by unidentified instigators who want to fuel social unrest.
The unrest was initially sparked by protests in KZN last Friday, by supporters of Zuma who called for his release from Estcourt Correctional Centre. The violence led to the looting of shopping malls and other stores in the two provinces and claimed the lives of more than 100 people. Over 2,000 people have been arrested.
The Constitution Court in June sentenced the 79-year-old former statesman to 15 months in jail for contempt, after he disobeyed orders to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
On Monday, the ConCourt heard his rescission application challenging the sentence. Judgment was reserved in the matter.
This is a summary of some of the demands by the Free Jacob Zuma campaign:
- The immediate release of Zuma from Estcourt Correctional Centre.
- Withdrawal of the arms deal corruption case in which Zuma is charged along with French company Thales.
- Nationalisation of mines, strategic industries and the South African Reserve Bank.
- Establishment of a state bank without delay.
- Transformation of the country’s banking and insurance industry.
- Fighting “real state capture by white oligarchs and a handful of their white families”.
- An end to stringent lockdown measures that impede freedom of speech.
- Implementation of state expropriation of land without compensation.
- State-owned enterprises must be protected from privatisation.