The ANC Youth League has issued a call to arms to defend President Jacob Zuma from the “snakes” surrounding him.
Zuma has been under pressure over allegations of state capture and allegedly allowing the wealthy Gupta family to influence political appointments.
Zuma last week launched urgent court action to delay the release of a potentially damning report by the Public Protector into the allegations.
The delayed report is set for release on November 1 under new Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who took over on Saturday after Thuli Madonsela’s seven-year mandate expired.
The leader of the ANC’s youth league urged its supporters to take up arms to support Zuma and to “defend the revolution”.
“Comrades from Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), bring your guns. Now is the time to defend the revolution. We must do it,” Collen Maine told Zuma supporters in Durban.
“Jacob Zuma is surrounded by snakes in the ANC… We won’t allow anybody to bring Zuma down,” Maine vowed.
Maine was speaking at an ANC march held on Saturday, the same day that the woman who accused Zuma of raping her in 2005 was being buried.
The HIV-positive Fezeka Khuzwayo, aka Khwezi, accused Zuma of raping her at his home in Johannesburg in 2005. She died last Saturday, aged 42.
She maintained throughout that she had been raped and sought refuge in the Netherlands before returning to South Africa in 2014.
The Democratic Alliance Youth and COPE said it will lay criminal charges against Maine for inciting violence.