The Zondo Commission has opposed former president Jacob Zuma’s application for a stay of execution of the order for his arrest that will be heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

Jacob Zuma applied for a stay of execution of a Constitutional Court ruling that ordered Minister of Police Bheki Cele and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola to take necessary “legal steps” to ensure the former president commences his sentence within five days of the ruling. Zuma has also lodged a rescission application to have the Constitutional Court ruling that he was guilty of contempt of court overturned. 

Zuma argued in court papers that his sentencing echoed the Apartheid era’s “detention without trail” and that due to his age and health conditions his life would be at risk if he was jailed.

Zondo Commissison Secretary Itumeleng Mosala said in court papers filed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday that the commission opposed Jacob’s application for an interdict to prevent his arrest for the following reasons:

  • “The first is that this court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain this matter”
  • “The second is that the applicant has failed to satisfy the test for rescission both under rule 42 of the Uniform Rules of the Court as well as under the common law”
  • Thirdly, understanding this application within the context of its full factual history reveals that it (the application) is a continuation of the pattern of abuse by the applicant of the court process. Courts should not entertain such abuse any longer.
  • Finally the applicant does not satisfy the requirements for an interim interdict

Mosala argued in court papers: “The applicant was given ample opportunity to persuade the Constitutional Court not to hold him in contempt of court, not to order a sanction of imprisonment and to impose a lesser period of imprisonment on him.”

“He was at that stage entitled to raise Anu arguments regarding how his constitutional rights would be affected by the order of the court. He was also entitled at that stage to raise the question of the constitutional validity of the attempt of court proceedings.”

Mosala said Jacob Zuma had instead refused to participate in the proceedings.

“He cannot be permitted to use this deliberate choice to undermine the order granted by teh Constitutional Court,” Mosala said.

Mosala added that Zuma had not demonstrated any “reasonable apprehension of harm” should he be jailed. 

Mosala said Jacob Zuma was entitled to raise his age and health cocnerns with the Department of Correctional Service, and to apply for early parole.

“This is the route that all others sentenced to a period of imprisonment will have to follow,” Mosala added.jai

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Presh JM Reporter

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