It’s now up to the Constitutional Court to decide on a course of action – after former president Jacob Zuma refused to make submissions, as per Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s request.
Mogoeng had asked Zuma to file an affidavit, in which he would specify a suitable or fair sanction if found guilty of contempt, for his failure to appear at the State Capture Commission.
Zuma was supposed to submit an affidavit by Wednesday, 14 April 2021, however he instead penned a 21-page letter to the CJ, in which he labels his directives as a complete sham and “political gimmicks.”
In the letter, sent a day before the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld a judgment that said Zuma should repay at least R16 million of the state’s money, which went towards his legal fees. The former president told Mogoeng that he’s realised that the courts tend to be hostile towards him.
“Broadly speaking, I believe, having examined how the courts have dealt with cases involving my constitutional rights, I came to the conclusion that there is inexplicable judicial antipathy towards me,” said Zuma.
“I do not accept that I committed contempt of court when I decided not to participate in the Commission proceedings in circumstances where my rights would be violated. It is clear for all to see that nothing can persuade the Constitutional Court not to incarcerate me.”
Former president Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma is prepared to go to jail
Former president Jacob Zuma further maintained that he is willing to go to jail, as per the State Capture Commission’s request with the highest court in the land. The commission is seeking a two-year jail term to be imposed on Zuma.
“I am resigned to being a prisoner of the Constitutional Court because it is clear to me that the Constitutional Court considers the Zondo Commission to be central to our national life and the search for the national truth on the state of governance during my presidency,” he said.
Fierce supporters of Zuma have vowed to defend him, even against arrest. So if an arrest warrant is indeed issued, things could get rather messy.
At least 34 witnesses who appeared before the commission have implicated Zuma in corruption and other kinds of wrongdoing.