Former president Jacob Zuma has issued a stern warning that he will not sit back and watch his critics provoking him.
Zuma was a keynote speaker at the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) meeting on free education held in Durban on Wednesday.
“There are people who like to talk about me, who are provoking me, and I kept quiet when I was president of the country,” said Zuma. “I no longer have that responsibility… and I want to warn them, they must keep quiet … I have things to say about their organisations, they must not provoke me.”
Zuma will appear in court on Friday to face charges related to fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
Cosas says it will rally behind the former president in court.
Its leader in the eThekwini region, Khetha Mjodi, said people were innocent until proven guilty so they would stand behind Zuma, believing he is innocent.
“As the Congress of South African Students we respect the judiciary because no one is bigger than the judiciary,” said Mjodi.
“The president is innocent until the court proves him guilty so as Cosas we have the responsibility of ensuring that all former leaders of the ANC are defended well, so we are going there on Friday, we are going to ensure that president Jacob Zuma is going to get the justice that is needed.”
Gatherers inside the hall sang and chanted slogans “uZuma wenzeni?”, which translates to “What has Zuma done?”, shortly before the former president took to the stage.