Zondo Commission welcomes Zuma’s 15 month jail sentence
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The state capture commission welcomed the judgment of the Constitutional Court which found former president Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment for his defiance of the ConCourt order to appear before the commission.
In a statement issued on behalf of the Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday afternoon, the commission said it viewed the judgment as “one of great importance for the rule of law, the principle of equality before the law, the primacy of our Constitution and the protection of our constitutional democracy”. The statement was authored by Secretary of the Commission, Professor Itumeleng Mosala “at the instance of the chairperson”.
The commission also noted that the judgment was significant for the independence of South Africa’s judiciary.
“In the commission’s view, the judgment sends a profoundly important message to all in our country that there are serious consequences for anyone who defies summonses and orders of courts and that such conduct will not be tolerated, no matter what the person’s status is in society,” the statement read.
Professor Mosala said the Zondo Commission would continue with its work in the knowledge that the highest court in the land has made it clear that summonses issued by the commission must be complied with and orders of courts must be obeyed.
In the scathing majority judgment written by Acting Deputy Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe, the apex court ordered Zuma to submit himself to the Nkandla or Johannesburg Central police station within five calendar days.
Should Zuma fail to meet the five-day deadline, Justice Khampepe also ordered Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole to, within three calendar days, take all steps to ensure that the former ANC leader is committed to a correctional centre.
Zuma was also ordered to pay the costs of the commission’s urgent application on a punitive scale.