Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Incarcerated Jacob Zuma to know his fate soon

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jul 9, 2021

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Durban - The Pietermaritzburg High Court will deliver its judgment on former President Jacob Zuma's bid to stay out of jail, this morning.

Zuma turned himself in to police on Wednesday to begin 15 months in jail for contempt of court.

Zuma, who was meant to hand himself over to the authorities by Sunday, ignored the court order. Police were instructed to arrest him by Wednesday despite his legal bid to interdict them from executing the arrest.

On Tuesday, Judge Jerome Mnguni heard his application to stop the arrest but reserved his judgment to the end of the week.

During their arguments, opposition legal teams labelled Zuma as a “repetitive, recalcitrant lawbreaker”.

It was a long day of hearing arguments from the head of Zuma's legal team, Advocate Dali Mpofu, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi who represented the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and Advocate Max Du Plessis who represented the Helen Suzman Foundation that opposed the application with the commission's chairperson deputy chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Ngcukaitobi called on Mnguni not to be drawn into assisting Zuma to break the law by overturning a Constitutional Court ruling and pleaded with him to dismiss the case.

"It would be wrong for this court to impose itself midstream. There is no reason for Your Lordship to catch the bus midstream," Ngcukaitobi said.

Supporting the commission’s plea for the court to dismiss the matter, Advocate Du Plessis agreed that the court had no jurisdiction to stay an execution of order made by the apex court.

He said the High Court ruling on a Concourt decision "would amount to second-guessing the Concourt".

In a lengthy two-part argument, Mpofu said that it was actually "inappropriate" for the commission and the foundation to be part of this court proceedings.

"They already got their order.

"It's no skin off their nose as to when the applicant will be arrested," Mpofu said.

"What business is it of an NGO and some commission … to travel metaphorically to Pietermaritzburg to oppose," Mpofu said.

He said the issue of jurisdiction was "a red herring" and that the court had an inherent and national jurisdiction even of other courts and tribunals.

However, Mnguni said jurisdiction was the central point of this application.

If Mnguni grants Zuma’s application, he could possibly be released until his Concourt hearing on Monday.

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Political Bureau

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