South Africa’s ANC moves to address tension after former president’s sentencing

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South Africa’s governing party African National Congress (ANC) has moved to diffuse tension in KwaZulu-Natal by deploying National Executive Committee (NEC) members after former president Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in jail.

This followed former ANC liberation fighters Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) members reportedly camping out Zuma’s home, vowing to prevent his arrest.

“In arriving at this decision the national officials were mindful of the situation developing in KwaZulu-Natal and the need for ANC to give clear and principled leadership to ensure the maintenance of the rule of law and to avoid any violence, injury, or loss of life.

NEC members will be deployed to KZN and will work with the provincial leadership in this regard,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.

The tense political situation in KwaZulu-Natal has forced the ANC to postpone its NEC meeting which was due to start on Saturday.

Constitutional Court on Tuesday sentenced Zuma a 15-month imprisonment for contempt of court stemming from his refusal to appear before the state capture inquiry. The court gave Zuma five days to hand himself to the police.

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