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A friend of Winnie is a friend of Zuma

News

A friend of Winnie is a friend of Zuma

Social media started loving Zuma again after Winnie's death

Senior reporter

Support for Jacob Zuma on social media spiked when Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died.
For almost two years social media users, particularly those on Twitter, wanted Zuma to fall but since the struggle stalwart's death, support for the former president has grown.
“This is fascinating. The positive sentiment spiked around Winnie's death because Zuma paid tribute to her,” social media analyst Tonya Khoury explained.
Zuma visited Madikizela-Mandela's home in Orlando West, Soweto, on Wednesday.
Khoury's statistics of “6,700 posts with a reach of engagement in the billions” showed the gap between support for Zuma and those against him quickly closing ahead of his first court appearance on Friday.
While almost 58% of social media users remained neutral on all things Zuma, 19% pledged support for him and 23% were still negative about him.Zuma will be appearing on 16 charges, including fraud, corruption and racketeering in the Durban High Court on Friday.
These charges relate to 783 payments he allegedly received as a bribe to protect French arms company Thint from an investigation of the controversial multi-billion-rand arms deal. The alleged bribe was facilitated by Zuma’s former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.
Hashtags such as #DefendZuma and #HandsOffZuma have emerged in support of Zuma while #ZumaNeedsDoom trended against the former president.
“Last week, no one was talking about Zuma but in the past few days mention has grown by almost 800%,” Khoury said.
Her statistics show that 1.6% of users were sad that Zuma was facing corruption charges, five percent were angry and 3.5% were happy – while 13.1% were afraid the court proceedings might lead to violence in the country.
#BhekiCeleTalkingRubbishAgain was also a hashtag that emerged in reference to the police boss and ANC NEC member's statement ahead of Zuma's court appearance.
“Nobody owns the ANC. If you commit crimes you must face the charges without calling the ANC to defend you as if when you were stealing you were doing it for the ANC, while you were stealing for yourself and your children.
“Leave the ANC alone. Don’t say you were not warned when you don’t want to listen,” Cele said.
His statement came after the ANC called on its members to not involve the party when showing support for Zuma. The party went as far as asking its members not to wear their ANC T-shirts to court.
But supporters plan to be defiant.
Many have posted photographs of the ANC shirts they plan on wearing to court on Friday.
“I paid R450 for this shirt. I will be wearing it to support my president. No one can stop me,” Godfrey Dube wrote on Facebook.

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