One of the sons of former president Jacob Zuma remains defiant that he will die before he witnesses his father walking through prison gates.
Speaking to the media outside Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, Edward Zuma maintained law enforcement agencies would have to go through him before getting hold of his father.
“My position has been known and I still maintain it. Whatever decisions are taken by law enforcement, they will have to kill me before such a decision is implemented,” he said.
“If that drastic decision happens to be taken, it means they have to pass through me, meaning I will lay down my life for [former] president Zuma. They will not take him to prison while I am still alive.”
Edward insisted he was not reckless in making those comments.
On Tuesday the Constitutional Court sentenced the former president to 15 months behind bars after he was found guilty of contempt of court for failure to comply with an order issued by it to honour a summons to appear before the state capture inquiry.
“The only appropriate sanction is a direct unsuspended order of imprisonment,” said acting deputy chief justice Sisi Khampepe.
She said: “Never before has the judicial process been so threatened.
“If with impunity litigants are allowed to decide which orders they may wish to obey and which they wish to ignore, then our constitution is not worth the paper on which it is written.”
Zuma snubbed the inquiry and attacked the integrity of some of its officials, including inquiry chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
He has five days to hand himself over to authorities to start serving his sentence.
Before then, Edward welcomed supporters of the former president to the family’s home.
“We encourage people to come in their numbers to support [former] president Zuma,” Edward said.
Asked whether Covid-19 regulations, which prohibit gatherings, were considered, Edward said they were irrelevant.
“We are in a situation of war here. We cannot be considering Covid-19 restrictions. If it means we die, we die.”