The ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), is sending more than 600 "combat-ready" military veterans to defend Zuma "with our lives" if the Black Friday marches proceed, according to The Times. The MK vets are being sent from KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg
According to the paper, at a press conference on Wednesday, the vets' provincial chairman in KwaZulu-Natal, Themba Mavundla said the vets were being sent to protect the ANC, Zuma and the party's headquarters, Luthuli House.
Mavundla was reportedly asked if the vets had weapons.
He was quoted by The Times as saying, "We know how to defend the movement. We wish to warn these forces of darkness that our patience is not unlimited. Our people are ready to defend our hard-won gains. If they are coming to Luthuli House, we are ready for them. I know you understand a historical mission in situations like these."
Mavundla is also the head of the provincial community safety and liaison department, but said he was not speaking in his capacity as a public official.
"I took an oath when I joined the MK. I put that (head of department) on the side when I'm wearing this cape. I'm a commander of the MKMVA and it is my duty to defend the organisation," he reportedly said.