President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued what can be described as an indirect reply to his predecessor, former president Jacob Zuma. This is exactly a week after Zuma failed to show up at the State Capture Commission, as he had said he would – all in defiance of an order by the Constitutional Court.

In his weekly newsletter released on Monday, February 22, 2021, Ramaphosa reflected on the role of the Constitution in the country and said it is the product of years of sacrifice and struggle.

However it wasn’t too long before Ramaphosa went in on Zuma. Without mentioning his name, the president said they should be concerned when “those who occupy prominent positions in society” make remarks which show disdain for the Constitution and the judiciary.

“Of particular concern are recent utterances directed at the judiciary, in which some judges are accused, without any evidence, of pursuing interests other than the cause of justice. Judges have been accused of political agendas and some have even been accused of accepting bribes,” Ramaphosa said.

Zuma: Judges helped Ramaphosa hide CR17 documents

This is after Jacob ZumaZuma implied that Ramaphosa may have paid off judges to keep his CR17 campaign funding records hidden. The former president had issued a 12-page statement explaining why he would continue to defy the highest court in the land.

“We sit with some Judges who have assisted the incumbent President, Mr. Ramaphosa, to hide from society what on the face of it seem to be bribes obtained in order to win an internal ANC election. We sit with some judges who sealed those records simply because it will reveal that some of them, while serving in our courts, have had their hands filled with 30 pieces of silver,” Zuma said.

Claims against judiciary shouldn’t be taken lightly

President Cyril Ramaphosa said Jacob Zuma’s claims are disturbing for two reasons:

  • If true, it means members of the judiciary have committed one of the ultimate acts of wrongdoing against the judicial system – being bribed to act in favour of Ramaphosa
  • Without any evidence, the allegations undermine the judiciary and the important function that it performs in our democracy.

Ramaphosa further said the “attacks” on the judiciary should be taken seriously.

“Such attacks shake the very foundations of our constitutional democracy. Unless supported by evidence, such claims undermine confidence in our courts, and weaken our Constitutional order,” Ramaphosa said.

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Presh JM Reporter

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