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BRITISH model, actor and businesswoman Naomi Campbell penned an open letter to former South African President Jacob Zuma appearing to blame him for the deaths of around 300 protesters and looters in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago.
The supermodel’s comments come after recent violence and looting erupted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, as Zuma’s sympathisers called for the former president to be released from jail following his incarceration.
Campbell says in her open letter on Instagram: ”This isn’t the South Africa I remember and that millions of South Africans fought for. The South Africa that overcame Apartheid , showed the world that change was possible. Led the battle in the fight against HIV/AIDS and has weathered countless efforts to undermine the new South Africa.”
“…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.
“These actions not only saw hundreds lose their lives and property be destroyed. But its effects will now be felt by many millions more,” she wrote in the lengthy Instagram post.
“If you still consider yourself a leader then please act and take responsibility like one,” she pleaded.
Campbell has always spoken openly about her love for South Africa, its people and her close relationship with with former president Nelson Mandela.
The model had a close relationship with the late Nelson Mandela who referred to her as his “honorary granddaughter”, Campbell even attended the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral.
“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 avoid a Commission setup to investigate State Capture,” Campbell wrote
“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 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 added.
The 51-year-old went on to say these actions not only saw hundreds lose their lives and property be destroyed. “Its effects will now be felt by many millions more. This affects the millions of hard working and peaceful South Africans many whom have suffered over the last year because of Covid,”
Campbell also said each day Zuma defies the courts and stoke division he takes a step backwards from Madiba’s vision for South Africa to prosper and for their not only be equitable political justice but also economic justice. “If you still consider yourself a leader then please act and take responsibility like one.”
Through the years she has lent support to many of Mandela’s political campaigns and humanitarian causes, and had previously donated proceeds from a photoshoot to the ANC.
In 2018, Campbell co-hosted the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, where the lineup including Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Chris Martin.
However, the model has received mixed reactions for her recent comments on the country’s civil unrest, which saw her name reach the top of Twitter trends on Friday.
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