Bernadette Wicks
Senior court reporter
3 minute read
17 Dec 2021
6:15 am

Is Dudu Zuma-Sambudla at it again?

Bernadette Wicks

Dudu Zuma-Sambudla was widely accused of having incited the July unrest with her tweets and reposts at the height of the unrest.

Jacob Zuma and his daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla at a launch event for his book. Picture: Instagram

Jacob Zuma’s daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla is at it again, taking to social media with the words: “We see you.”

She sounded what appeared to be an ominous warning after the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday revoked her father former president Jacob Zuma’s medical parole.

The post, which appeared on Twitter, where she boasts a following of more than 170 000, was eerily reminiscent of those she made during the July unrest, egging on the wanton rioting that came in the wake of her father’s initial incarceration which brought the country to its knees.

It also comes amid concerns about the possibility that a second round of violence could be on the horizon.

How the coming days and weeks will unfold remains to be seen.

“There is a continuing threat of unrest and you must always remember that in politics, what matters the most is that threat,” said political analyst Sandile Swana yesterday: Paul Hoffman of nonprofit civil society organisation Accountability Now highlighted the July unrest only began after Zuma was incarcerated and said that with a relatively lengthy appeal process likely ahead, this – if it did occur again was probably still a while away.

Two months after he was taken into custody, Zuma was a free man following his release on medical parole.

After it emerged the medical parole advisory board had not recommended Zuma’s early release but that former prisons boss Arthur Fraser over-ruled its decision, the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and AfriForum went to court to challenge the move.

The challenge was successful, with Justice Elias Matojane on Wednesday declaring the decision to release Zuma unlawful and ordering his return to prison.

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Zuma has since lodged an application for leave to appeal and the department of correctional services has indicated its intention to do the same.

AfriForum yesterday confirmed it would oppose the application, while the HSF said it was yet to make a decision.

The lodging of appeal proceedings automatically suspends Wednesday’s order until proceedings been finalised.

The South African Human Rights Commission, which is currently holding hearings on the July unrest, has already called for calm.

Zuma-Sambudla was widely accused of having incited the July unrest with her tweets at the time, which included multiple reposts of videos and pictures accompanied by the words: “We see you.”

The DA opened a criminal case of incitement to violence against her and her brothers, Duduzane and Edward Zuma, but to date, they have not been charged. 

Her tweet on Wednesday garnered hundreds of comments, some of which read: “Please don’t start”, and “Not again”.

Hoffman said: “If there is further unrest, it will come from people who have no respect for the rule of law and who are not even prepared to wait to see what happens in any appeal proceedings.”

He wasn’t convinced an appeal would succeed.

“That judgment is appeal proof; it is perfectly sound and solid jurisprudence on the legal issues the case poses so it’s unlikely leave to appeal will be given or that the Supreme Court of Appeal will respond positively to a petition.

“And it is even more unlikely that the Constitutional Court will be prepared to entertain the matter,” he said.

Swana agreed the ruling handed down on Wednesday was sound.

Of the immediate outlook, Swana said Zuma’s recent visit from ANC councillors at his Nkandla home had shown he still had a strong political following and that he expected to see “some activation of that type of support on very short notice”.