Former president Jacob Zuma’s daughter Jabu Zuma hit back at British model Naomi Campbell, who penned a letter to the jailed former president.
In an open letter, addressed to the British supermodel, Jabu said that she was not qualified to speak on Zuma’s affairs.
In her open letter, posted on Instagram, Naomi said that the recent looting and destruction – of scores of businesses in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng – had threatened to undo what the late former president Nelson Mandela had fought hard to achieve.
“Each day you defy the courts and stoke division, you take a step backwards from Madiba’s vision for SA to prosper and for there to not only be equitable political justice, but also economic justice,” wrote Campbell.
She said the recent civil unrest, that made international headlines, was not the South Africa that she remembered, nor was it the one that had been exemplary to the rest of the world, and called for Zuma to end his defiance.
“I have watched how, over the last few years, you have protested your innocence at the allegations tabled against you – of corruption and allowing mass state capture. I have seen you go out of your way to avoid having to deal with these matters in court and avoiding a commission set up to investigate state capture,” Naomi wrote.
Naomi continued: “You have talked of the rule of law and the South African constitution being something that should apply to everyone. Yet you defied the courts and were sentenced to 15 months in prison.
“Now, upon your incarceration, a group of protests under the #FreeZuma banner broke out, igniting the worst violence and criminality South Africa has seen since the end of apartheid.”
She went on to say that the protests will have a long-lasting effect. She also said that if the former president considered himself a leader, he should act like one.
“If you still consider yourself a leader, then please act and take responsibility like one.
“Agree to finish your appearance in front of the State Capture Commission and, equally, you will have your days in court to contest the corruption charges alleged against you. Put the Nation first,” she said.
Following this, Jabu hit back saying Naomi knew nothing about South African history or the sacrifices made by her father towards SA’s democracy.
“What you remember SA to be is not and has never been a reflection of the true SA,” she said in the letter, which was shared by one of the more vocal of Zuma’s children, Duduzile, on her Twitter page.
“If you had actually been watching president Zuma over the last few years as you claim, you will be well aware of the fact that all he has ever called for was a fair trial.
“He has been more than willing to stand in front of a court and prove his innocence,” Jabu said.
She said many of the delays in Zuma’s court appearances were as a result of the State calling for postponements, except for a few incidents – where Zuma missed appearances because of incidents beyond his control.
She denied that her father was evading the State Capture Commission.
“President Zuma has never had an issue with appearing before the commission, he’s done so previously. His issue lies with having to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo,” said Jabu.
On the looting and unrest that followed in the days after Zuma’s incarceration, Jabu said that unrest was beyond her father.
“The civil unrest is bigger than president Zuma’s arrest. South Africans are hungry, impoverished, unemployed, and tired of living in a country where the government marginalises them.
“As history shows, when the poor have nothing else to eat, they eat the rich,” Jabu added, highlighting what she claimed to be failures of the current government, under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Jabu said that Naomi was in no position to share her views on Zuma’s vision and his part in the Struggle for democracy.
“You’re simply not qualified and must be deluded to think you could ever (make recommendations on what Zuma should do),” she concluded.