Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Rogan Ward/Reuters
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Rogan Ward/Reuters

Zuma could soon be jailed for two years if Zondo commission has its way

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma could soon be jailed for two years if the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has its way.

This comes after the commission finally approached the Constitutional Court on Monday to seek a contempt of court order against Zuma, which it wants to be accompanied by a jail time sanction of two years if it succeeds.

The application stems from Zuma’s defiance of the inquiry’s summonses and refusal to take the stand and answer to allegations of wrongdoing.

Last week, commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo rebuked Zuma over his snub of the inquiry despite it having set aside the whole week for his testimony.

The Constitutional Court ruled last month on the urgent application by the commission that Zuma was compelled to attend its directive to attend and answer questions put to him.

The court declared Zuma’s defiant stance to be in direct breach of the rule of law.

Justice Zondo stressed that Zuma’s behaviour of defiance would lead to lawlessness if it was allowed to continue.

Zuma, on the other hand, has reiterated that he would not attend the commission and that he was prepared to go to jail.

The former head of state accused Justice Zondo and other justices at the Constitutional Court of having “left their constitutional post for political expediency”.

At the heart of Zuma’s refusal to attend the commission is his failed recusal application against Justice Zondo. He claims that the commission chairperson is biased against him on account of their alleged historical, family and friendship ties.

Justice Zondo dismissed the recusal application, while Zuma is reviewing the decision and arguing that he cannot appear before the commission while it is pending.

In the commission’s latest application, the inquiry accuses him of having “intentionally and unlawfully failed to appear” before the inquiry and of having failed to provide affidavits as ordered by the commission.

In what could be an indication that Zuma might not contest the commission’s application once again, he pointed out in his letter last week that he was awaiting the apex ruling on a prison sentence for him.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser have been cited as second and third respondents respectively as the commission wants them to be ordered to effect Zuma’s imprisonment.

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Political Bureau

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