Former President Jacob Zuma turned himself in to police to begin 15 months in jail for contempt of court. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Former President Jacob Zuma turned himself in to police to begin 15 months in jail for contempt of court. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

'Supremacy of the law': Political parties react after Jacob Zuma hands himself over

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jul 8, 2021

Share this article:

Johannesburg - The ANC and opposition political parties have spoken to the supremacy of the law and the Constitution in reaction to former president Jacob Zuma handing himself over to serve a 15-month prison sentence.

Zuma handed himself to police on Wednesday night.

The ANC described this moment as a "difficult time for the movement".

The organisation has called for calm from its members and for Zuma's decision to hand himself over to be respected.

"The ANC has always restated its unequivocal commitment to and defence of the Constitution, in particular the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, amongst the founding principles and values of the Republic of South Africa," Pule Mabe the party's spokesperson said.

IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa shared similar sentiments and also called for calm among Zuma's supporters.

"The IFP reiterates its call to former president Zuma to respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court, the rule of law, and to allow justice to now take its course.

"The IFP further reiterates its call for calm and restraint in respect of groups of persons supporting former president Zuma that may wish to hold gatherings, as well as for compliance with all Covid-19 regulations," he said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Zuma did well in handing himself over and not bowing to pressure from supporters who called for "war".

"I have no doubt in my mind that he must have said that not under his name will there be bloodshed over this issue. It was a smooth route to jail," Holomisa said.

The UDM leader said Zuma's imprisonment should serve as a lesson to those who believed they were above the law.

"Legally speaking, it is a lesson that the laws of the country and the constitution is supreme and if you are not law-abiding you will be forced to do so," he said.

Holomisa said this was not the end of the road for Zuma's legacy.

"Zuma is a fighter, to think that this is the end of Zuma's legacy we might be making a big mistake. What will come out, is that he is a fighter, he has realised his mistake," Holomisa said.

The Freedom Front Plus said Zuma has realised he has no political power. The party was curious as to whether Zuma would receive special treatment for his prison stay.

“The question on everyone's mind is whether he is going to serve his time in an ordinary prison, like all other ordinary criminals, or whether he will use his medical conditions as an excuse to be held in a hospital,” the FF+ said.

Zuma’s sentence follows a Constitutional Court ruling last week that found him in contempt of court.

He is expected to serve his prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Services facility in KwaZulu-Natal.

[email protected]

Political Bureau

Share this article: