jacob zuma

Jacob Zuma drops scathing response to ‘tainted’ ConCourt

Published by Andile Sicetsha

Former president Jacob Zuma has hit back at the Constitutional Court with scathing remarks that have, once again, cast doubt on South Africa’s judiciary.

Jacob Zuma arrest to be determined

On Thursday, Advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi represented the State Capture commission in a ConCourt sitting where submissions were heard about DCJ Raymond Zondo’s decision to institute criminal charges against Zuma.

Advocate Ngcukaitobi vehemently pleaded with the panel of judges to institute a custodial sentence of no less than two years against the former president for his brazen defiance of the highest court on the land.

In its submissions, the commission made it clear that the former president had crossed the line in smearing the integrity of the ConCourt and making outlandish allegations against its judges that, until now, are largely baseless.

The court reserved its judgment and is expected to return with a decision on Zuma’s fate soon.

Zuma bites back: Here’s what he said

Later that day, Jacob Zuma released a six-page statement, where his tirade against a ‘tainted’ judiciary continued. The 78-year-old was resolved in what seems to be inevitable — that he will spend some time in prison for being in contempt of court. Here are a number of starting statements he made.

Zondo is corrupt

Zuma insinuated that the ConCourt has bent over backwards to protect Zondo from his supposed inefficiencies. In the former president’s view, the pending review application to have the commission’s chairperson recused has been swept under the carpet to save him from embarrassment, and he has been used as the scapegoat.

“In an attempt to cover up these inefficiencies and wasteful expenditure, the commission sought to scapegoat me by asking the Constitutional Court to encroach my constitutional rights. For the sake of expedience of the commission, the Constitutional Court accepted the unfounded allegations that I was delaying the commission in the completion of its work when all I had done was exercised a legitimate right to challenge the impartiality of the chairperson of the commission,” he wrote.

Justice Dhaya Pillay is biased

Zuma also dragged Judge Dhaya Pillay in the mud for being part of the ConCourt panel presiding over the commission’s application when, in fact, there is proof of her supposed bias against him.

“Justice Dhaya Pillay has previously insulted me by insinuating in her judgment that I am ‘…a wedge driver with a poisonous tongue.’ It is the sam judge that issued a warrant of arrest against me as she refused to accept a medical report from the Surgeon General of the South African National Defence Force,” Zuma said.

ConCourt is out for political blood

Ultimately, according to Zuma, the commission’s pursuit of unravelling the rot of state capture is nothing but a political ploy spearheaded by the judiciary.

The former president didn’t mince his words in pitting the highest court on the land against — ironically — the statutes of democracy. In fact, Zuma, in his witty twist of words, called for South Africans to be “concerned about the dangerous situation we are heading towards.”

“The core principles about separation of powers between the judiciary, legislature and the executive are being gradually weakened,” the former president scathingly wrote.

Whether he will, indeed, be sentenced to prison remains to be seen. Alas, Zuma has resolved to this eventuality, stating that his physical body may be confined, but “my spirit is free to speak against the injustices of the imprisonment.”

“Our people — ordinary people — will gain their voice and when they do, not even the Constitutional Court will not be spared the rigorous questions,” he charged.