President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Special Official Funeral of the late, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu, greets the former President Jacob Zuma. Photo GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Special Official Funeral of the late, His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu, greets the former President Jacob Zuma. Photo GCIS

Ramaphosa ’should rebuke Zuma for attack on judiciary’

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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Durban - THE official opposition has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to rebuke his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, for his “latest attack on the judiciary” following his eight-page, 25 point letter in which he said the Constitutional Court had allowed itself to be abused.

In the statement the former president accused the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture of peddling lies and misrepresentations at the Constitutional Court while the court itself was accused of allowing itself to be abused and that it prejudiced him and was violating his constitutional rights.

This comes after the court heard the commission’s arguments on Thursday in which it said, through its senior counsel Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, that Zuma should be jailed without the option of a fine for waging a political campaign against the judiciary based on lies.

Zuma also expressed displeasure at the inclusion of Acting Justice Dhaya Pillay in the hearing, describing it as “curious considering the historical hostility and insults” against him.

He said that Pillay had previously labelled him a “wedge driver with a poisonous tongue” after she issued a warrant of arrest for Zuma for failing to appear before her in the High Court.

Glynnis Breytenbach, DA MP and spokesperson on Justice and Correctional Services, said that Ramaphosa had to clearly and emphatically state whether he and his party, the ANC, supported Zuma’s attempts to discredit the judiciary and the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

Breytenbach said: “In a statement issued late last night, he warned of a ‘judicial dictatorship’ emerging and he also appeared to encourage South Africans to rise up against ‘judicial corruption’. Any further silence from President Ramaphosa could well be construed as support of Zuma’s disregard for the judiciary and the rule of law.”

Breytenbach said that Zuma had also indicated that he would not subject himself to “an oppressive and unjust court system”, labelling this as ridiculous “given that he has had numerous opportunities to follow the rule of law by either testifying before the Commission or by participating in yesterday’s court proceedings”.

“He chose not to and instead sought to threaten the credibility of one of the basic pillars on which the Constitution was built.

“President Ramaphosa now has an opportunity to show the nation where he and his party stands. A failure to do so will lead to the ineluctable conclusion that the president and his party do not stand for the rule of law,” Breytenbach said.

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