Zuma Foundation launches attack on ConCourt Justice Khampepe
The Jacob Zuma Foundation has officially denounced the ConCourt ruling. What happens next? Here’s what we know.
Former President Jacob Zuma has yet to emerge from his Nkandla homestead to comply with the Constitutional Court ruling but a recent statement released by his foundation suggests that things may not be as amicable as everyone had hoped.
Zuma Foundation challenges ConCourt ruling
Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi confirmed that at this time, the former president’s legal team was still in the process of studying the judgment handed down by Justice Sisi Khampepe.
In her ruling, the apex court judge made it clear that jailing a man as powerful as Zuma was a warning to society that no man is above the law.
You will remember that the former president had, on a number of occasions, blatantly refused to comply with an order that forced him to return to face questioning at the State Capture Inquiry.
Interestingly, Zuma took this defiant stance after he had already made a five-day appearance before DCJ Raymond Zondo. After repeated failure to honour his intention to return to the hot seat, the commission escalated matters to the courts and the Constitutional Court was the last straw.
At the time, the apex court had ruled that Zuma, a material fixture of state capture, had no choice but to face the grilling, and, on questions where he would offer blank responses, he was obliged by law to indicate why certain probes would implicate him in wrongdoing.
This legal loop would bind Zuma into a position he could not afford. Naturally, the former president chose the high road and months later, the clock is winding down against him as the hours of his imprisonment draw near.
His foundation has unreservedly condemned the ConCourt ruling and suggested that the majority of the court’s judging panel had apparently yielded to Zondo’s seniority as deputy Chief Justice in delivering a jail sentence to a man who did nothing but “insist that he must be treated like every other citizen.”
“instead of allowing a lawful judicial review process to unfold in the High Court, DCJ Zondo ignored that review process and lodged an urgent application in the Constitutional Court seeking to hold our Patron in contempt despite exercising his rights of access to courts.
“In our view, that cannot be consistent with the substantive upholding of the rule of law that some only pay lip service to. Justice must be seen to be done,” the foundation exclaimed.
On Justice Khampepe: ‘She is emotional, angry’
Spokesperson Manyi bemoaned the conflict of interest apparent in Zondo presiding over the commission of inquiry as a man who has allegedly had a personal connection to the former president. He also pointed out the unfairness in the fact that the same panel of judges who decided Zuma’s fate were subordinates of the ConCourt’s deputy Chief Justice.
“DCJ Zondo, through the affidavit he deposed, is a complainant in a criminal case he has opened against our Patron. Surely, it cannot be inconsistent with the rule of law for DCJ Zondo to continue to preside over a matter where our Patron is an implicated party wherein the same DCJ Zondo has to make credibility determinations,” Manyi added.
Moreover, the foundation categorised Justice Khampepe’s judgment as emotionally driven and biased.
“The Jacob Zuma Foundation denounces Judge Khampepe judgment as judicially emotional and angry and not consistent with our Constitution,” the scathing statement concluded.
What’s next for Jacob Zuma?
By all accounts, it has become pretty clear that Zuma, at this time, does not recognise the ConCourt ruling. The former president has three days remaining as a free man.
If he does not report to the Nkandla police station by Sunday 4 July 2021, the matter will be escalated with Police Minister Bheki Cele and Commissioner Khehla Sitole who will be obliged to execute an arrest warrant on the former president.
However, gaining access to Zuma’s compound may prove to be difficult since, as of late February 2021, the entrance to Nkandla has been bordered by armed MKMVA operatives.