05/04/2018 14:15 SAST | Updated 05/04/2018 14:15 SAST

'Zuma's Case Won't Divide ANC' – ANC KZN

ANC KZN provincial task team convener Mike Mabuyakhulu says the party will uphold the decision by its national executive committee.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal [KZN] believes Jacob Zuma's court proceedings, which start on Friday, will not further widen or expose rifts within the party's provincial structures.

In an interview with HuffPost ahead of the former president's first court appearance, the party's provincial task team convener Mike Mabuyakhulu said nobody is above the law, and if the ANC's leaders understand that, there will be no need for further division.

Zuma wields immense support from party members in the province. Its leaders came to his aid throughout his presidential tenure, and threw their weight behind his preferred presidential successor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during the party's national conference in December last year.

"South Africa is a country that is governed through the rule of law, and the pretext of that rule of law is the presumption that all of us are innocent until proven otherwise. Therefore none of us is above the law. When there are issues that are affecting any of us, individually or collectively, that may require us to appear before a court of law, we all have to be able to respond and appear before a court of law and respect the criminal justice system," he said.

"This matter must therefore be seen not to as a matter that is dividing any of the ANC members, because none among the ANC has charged any of the ANC members. When a matter like this has happened, we think it is important that all of us who respect the rule of law, whether we like it or we don't like it, we must therefore submit ourselves to the rule of law. If leaders respect that ... We won't have any problem."

Mabuyakhulu reaffirmed the party's national executive committee's decision that members of the party supporting Zuma during his court proceedings must do so in their individual capacity, and are not to wear ANC regalia.

"The ANC in KZN is part of the ANC at national level, and therefore the provincial interim structure is a structure that understands, respects and upholds the highest decision-making body. So there is no ambiguity. The ANC NEC has made a decision, and the decision is very clear," he said.

"Our starting point therefore says anyone who will be going to any court hearing in support of anybody, they will be doing it first and foremost in their personal capacity. Secondly, if anyone therefore acts in breach of the ANC's national division, that is not to wear ANC regalia or anything that has the symbols of the ANC, those will be acting in [contradiction] of the highest decision-making body."

He said disciplinary proceedings will be instituted against those who do not adhere to the instruction.

"Anyone who does so ... will now be knowing they are acting in defiance of the ANC and bringing the ANC name into disrepute. And it therefore follows that you do so knowing that the consequence ... is that disciplinary action must be taken against you," Mabuyakhulu said.