Former SA president Jacob Zuma has lambasted the Concourt through his foundation after being sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt.
“Our patron [Zuma] has never believed that he is above the law or the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. On the contrary, he has always insisted that he must be treated like every other citizen, and his rights to equal protection of the laws must be respected and protected,” the Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said in a statement issued before midnight on Wednesday.
“Indeed, our patron has expressed his doubts about the lawfulness of the Zondo Commission, the biased manner in which it is being conducted, and the fact that it has been transformed into a “slaughterhouse” and a forum in which all kinds of unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations have been made against him. He sought the recusal of DCJ Zondo on the basis of bias, followed appropriate legal channels, and lodged a judicial review application in the high court.”
Many were of the view that, “instead of allowing a lawful judicial review process to unfold in the high Court, DCJ Zondo ignored that review court process and lodged an urgent application in the Constitutional Court” seeking to hold the former president in contempt.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation also insisted that it is not a criminal offence “to have a dispute with an administrative agency such as the Zondo Commission”.
“The principle of equality before the law was clearly violated, and the Zondo Commission was given an advantage in a case that was adjudicated by DCJ Zondo’s colleagues, whom he supervises,” Manyi said.
In conclusion, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said it “denounces Judge Khampepe’s judgment as judicially emotional and angry, and not consistent with our Constitution”.
The former president was sentenced to 15 imprisonment for failing to appear and participate in the state capture inquiry.
Meanwhile, the ruling has had mixed reactions from South Africans but welcomed by most political parties.
The leader of the Democratic Alliance party John Steenhuisen called on the former president to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and to hand himself over.
The IFP has also released a statement in which it said the Concourt ruling was a victory for the rule of law and confirmed the fact that no one was above the law.
“This matter did not have to go this far, had the former President complied with the directive of the State Capture Commission. We hope that he will respect and honour this ruling, and comply with the order that he must submit himself to the Police within the next five days”.
President of Action SA Herman Mashaba tweeted: “This is indeed a victory for all South Africans that have become gatvol with those who have looted our country with impunity.”
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