Undertakers raise money to pay Zuma’s legal fees
Funeral association says former president needs to be protected from the 'wild dogs'
Do not fear when the funeral undertaker is here. The National Funeral Practitioners Association of SA (Nafupa-SA) has vowed to come to former president Jacob Zuma’s rescue, launching a campaign to raise funds to foot his legal bill.
Nafupa-SA is the controversial organisation that recently hosted a gala dinner to honour the former president for reviving radical economic transformation and promoting expropriation of land without compensation.
It describes itself on its Facebook page as a “funeral association representing the majority of the black and previously disadvantaged funeral businesses”.
Nafupa-SA president Muzi Hlengwa told Times Select they had already kicked off their campaign to help raise funds for Zuma’s legal battle as they could not allow “Msholozi to fall victim to wild dogs – because we strongly believe that he is being attacked solely for advocating radical economic transformation and land expropriation.”“We are busy planning a national tour whereby we will take Msholozi to all nine provinces to ensure the people of South Africa that he is 100% for radical economic transformation and he has our support. We’re still at a planning stage,” he said.
However, Hlengwa was quick to emphasise that their support for Zuma should not be viewed as political.
“Remember there are political implications around this thing. So we are very careful on how to do things ... we don’t want to be viewed as political and people who support Msholozi because we were his faction. The majority of us are not even members of the ANC. We would have supported – even it was Thabo Mbeki – if he had said ‘radical economic transformation’.”
Nafupa-SA has been accused of fanning racial prejudice by banning white and Indian business owners from operating in the townships.
Nonsikelelo Ncayiyana, deputy chairman of Delangokubona Business Forum, declined to comment on whether they would also be raising funds for Zuma’s legal bills. Delangokubona — a controversial organisation which has rattled construction bosses by allegedly using mafia-style violence and intimidation to get a 30% stake in lucrative construction contracts as part of radical economic transformation — was also part of the gala dinner to honour Zuma.
National director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams announced on Friday that corruption charges relating to a multi-million-rand government arms deal from the 1990s will be reinstated against Zuma.The matter of Zuma’s legal fees came up in parliament last week, with President Cyril Ramaphosa saying the state had spent R15.3-million in fighting Zuma’s “spy tapes” litigation alone.
But legal fees over the past 12 years has already cost the taxpayer R32.4-million, according to parliamentary answers.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that the opposition DA and EFF had given Ramaphosa until Thursday to revoke Zuma’s deal on state-funded legal fees or face a court challenge.
Ramaphosa has said Zuma is willing to pay back the funds after an agreement signed in “good faith” stated that any government funds spent on his court cases would be repaid if Zuma lost the case.
But this has not stopped the DA and the EFF from threatening to go to court to stop the taxpayer footing the bill for Zuma’s legal bills.
The former president in the past counted on numerous businessmen, including convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik and Durban security boss Roy Moodley, to dig into their pockets to help him out financially.
In 2005, after being fired by Mbeki following Shaik’s conviction, the late prominent KwaZulu-Natal businessman Don Mkhwanazi spearheaded a campaign to raise funds for Zuma.
Mkhwanazi, who was involved in numerous businesses and was once the chairman of the Central Energy Fund, started an initiative called Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust, which was at the time charged with building a war chest for Zuma’s defence.