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Zondo Commission opposes Zuma’s attempt to stay arrest

Says the high court lacks the requisite jurisdiction and can only stay or suspend its own orders.
‘I do not fear being arrested, I do not fear being convicted, nor do I fear being incarcerated …’ – Jacob Zuma, February 2021. Picture: Refilwe Modise/ Citizen

The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture filed a weighty response to former president Jacob Zuma’s application to the Pietermaritzburg High Court to stay the order of his arrest.

In short, the Zondo Commission will argue that the high court lacks the requisite jurisdiction, and that Zuma:

  • Has failed to satisfy the test for rescission;
  • Is continuing in his “pattern of abuse … of the court process”; and
  • Does not satisfy the requirements for an interim interdict.

Court has no jurisdiction to hear the application

The commission points out that the high court does not have the requisite jurisdiction, and can only stay or suspend its own orders.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides that the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court (as a collective) can only “protect and regulate their own process”. For a high court to interfere in a Constitutional Court order “would undermine the hierarchy of our court system”.

The Zondo Commission further submits that the Constitutional Court “must be left to assert its authority”, and refers to Acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe’s judgment, handed down last Tuesday (June 29): “Never before has this Court’s authority and legitimacy been subjected to the kinds of [attacks] that Mr Zuma has elected to launch against it and its members.

“Never before has the judicial process been so threatened”.

Read:

Test for rescission not satisfied

The commission points out that Zuma was fully aware of the proceedings before the Constitutional Court, “but elected not to participate in them”.

In order to bring an application to rescind the law, Zuma would have to show:

  • That the judgment was obtained as a result of fraud; or
  • The court committed a justus error; or
  • New documents were discovered after the judgment was handed down; or
  • The judgment/order was granted by default.

Zuma has not shown any of these grounds.

The commission concludes that the rescission application “does not even get out of the first blocks” and that it is merely a strategy employed by Zuma “to avoid the inevitable – serving his prison sentence”.

No good reason given for Zuma’s application

Zuma has not provided a full account of the facts, and the commission proceeds to set them out.

  • The initial summons issued by the commission

The commission issued summons for Zuma to appear before it for examination from November 16 to 20, 2020.

Zuma attended the proceedings on November 16, 2020, but his legal representatives submitted an application for commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s recusal.

After a day was spent dealing with the recusal, with Zondo requiring time to consider it, Zondo dismissed the recusal on November 19, 2020. That was the day Zuma “excused” himself and departed – “despite being advised that he was not entitled to leave the proceedings and that his absence would constitute a criminal offence”.

  • The first application to the Constitutional Court

The commission approached the Constitutional Court for an order, on the basis that Zuma, the former president, “is obliged to account before the Commission for his exercise of public power and performance of his constitutional obligations whilst holding that office, in respect of the matters under investigation by the Commission”.

The matter was heard on December 29, 2020. Zuma was served with papers but did not oppose. His attorneys addressed a letter to the Constitutional Court informing it that Zuma would not participate in the proceedings at all.

  • Zuma refused to appear in January 2021

The commission served a summons on Zuma that he was required to appear before the commission from January 18 to 22, notwithstanding that the Constitutional Court had not yet delivered its judgment.

Zuma’s attorneys notified the commission that Zuma would wait for the Constitutional Court’s decision.

  • The Constitutional Court’s first judgment

On January 28 the Constitutional Court directed Zuma “to comply with all summonses lawfully issued by the Commission”.

Zuma’s attorneys informed the commission that he would not present himself at the commission.

The Constitutional Court ordered Zuma to “comply with the summons and directives issued by the commission, and to appear and give evidence before the Commission on the dates determined”.

The order and judgment were served by the sheriff on both of Zuma’s residences at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal and Forest Town in Johannesburg on February 5.

  • Zuma’s continued refusal to appear before the commission

Zuma issued a public statement on February 1, informing the public that:

  • The Zondo Commission has followed in the steps of the former Public Protector in creating a “special and different approach” to dealing with him.
  • That Zuma has “a well-founded apprehension of bias and a history of personal relationships between the Deputy Chief Justice” and himself.
  • The Constitutional Court’s decision has also “created a special and different set of circumstances” to specifically deal with him, and that his constitutional rights have been suspended.
  • The Constitutional Court has become politicised.
  • “I do not fear being arrested, I do not fear being convicted, nor do I fear being incarcerated …”
  • “I am left with no other alternative but to be defiant against injustice as I did against the apartheid government.”

Despite being summonsed Zuma did not appear at the commission on February 15.

  • The contempt of court application

The commission applied to the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis for a contempt of court order. The commission detailed all the times that Zuma “intentionally and unlawfully failed to appear before the Commission”, and “intentionally and unlawfully failed or refused to furnish the Commission with affidavits”.

Zuma did not file an answering affidavit, nor did he file an answering affidavit to the Helen Suzman Foundation.

The Chief Justice gave Zuma a further opportunity to make submissions to the Constitutional Court: in the event that he was found to be guilty of the alleged contempt of court, what would constitute the appropriate sanction? And if he had to be sentenced, to describe “the nature and magnitude of sentence that should be imposed, supported by reasons”.

Zuma responded with a letter, stating that he would not depose an affidavit, and noted that his stance “stems from my conscientious objection to the manner in which I have been treated”.

Zuma accused the Constitutional Court’s directives of not being legitimate, and that “some politically interested groups styled as amicus curiae [friends of the court] are given the right of rebuttal”, and that this is not a fair process.

Conclusion on the historical context

Zuma has refused to engage in the court processes and has “instead chosen to make public statements in which he deliberately and vexatiously undermines the dignity and authority of the courts and the rule of law; and suggests that members of public should do the same”.

The commission points out that Zuma is bound by the majority judgment of the Constitutional Court and “cannot undermine that through reliance on a decision that is not binding”.

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COMMENTS   25

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Sounds like the circus has come to town again. South Africa at its most grotesque .

Why must a whole country be held to ransom by Mr. Zuma?

In my opinion we are all working slaves for Mr. Zuma.

No comment from me. It has all been said.

This is the ANC that requires ALL citizens to mask up, practice social distancing and behave responsibly and yet this is the same ANC that allows their supporters to wave firearms about in public, allows their supporters to ignore the current COVID 19 regulations, allows their members to ignore the limits on social gatherings.

Thus effectively condoning and supporting Superspreader events.

ANC 1: South Africa 0
ANCYL 1: SA’s Credibility 0
Politics 1: Judiciary 0

ANC members are indeed more equal than others.

Banana Republic Confirmed!!!

Clearly, this remorselessly contemptuous convict should be serving a much longer sentence, along with his felonious associate and fellow abuser, Shabir Sheik. Also clearly, his threat to disclose the criminal wrong-doings of those that have the power to release him must be the influencing factor for this Concourt decision to flipflop on a deeply considered decision and this rush to further entertain the endless abuse.

Hahahaaa. This guy!!

He stole from the poorest of the poor.

He even stole his kings soldiers now.

He also stole democracy from all South Africans now.

Like everything else the anc touch it stops working.

FAKE justice system and FAKE democracy.

Next they will destroy the land.

You get what you vote for. Hahahaaaa!! Soon NOTHING will be left.

from my point of view the land is already destroyed….FUBAR?

after he brought it over himself, other is to be blamed for his own incompetence of understanding how the law works – the massive group of supporters at nkandla breaking at least every covid19 rule, indicates how many other people also think that they are above the law – freedom means i can do what i like, forget about the consequences thereof. it is a God’s wonder that sa is still a livable state (but surely not to its full potential) after zuma’s 9 years as president – now one can see clearly why

And this is why I think so little of the legal “profession”. People who use the law in favour of those who don’t have any respect for the law at all.

SA law abiding citizens 0 : Zuma hahahah!

This is a palace revolution within the ANC. This is not a national issue. This is an internal ANC issue where Zuma leads his defiant faction. They are maneuvering frantically to cling to their profitable positions within the looting structure. This RET faction is being sidelined by the Ramaphosa faction. This disrespect for the Constitutional Court and the defiance of ANC “rules” describe the ANC’s ethos and lay bare the raging internal war.

We are naive and misinformed if we think that anybody in a collectivist organization will respect the rule of law. Collectivists respect the rule of man. That is why the RET faction protects Zuma, and why, now all of a sudden, the current leadership stands behind Ramaphosa. The ANC politicians honor the rule of man and they position themselves in the camp of the leader with the most power, from where they belittle and ridicule the rule of law.

To them, the Constitutional Court is a “Western concept”, delivered by Europeans. These opportunists use the constitution and the courts whenever it suits their agenda and ignores it when it doesn’t. The law is a tool in their hands and the judges behave as if they are spanners in the ANC’s little toolbox. The political elite within the ANC uses these spanners to build a moral and legal structure that glorifies plunder.

The ANC has been building this looting structure in honour of corruption, and in defiance of the law, for 27 years, and now they want to jail one of their main architects?

The Zondo Commission is a criminality probe protruding from Luthuli House. It measures the level of rot and decay at the heart of the ANC and it displays the inevitable effects of the Freedom Charter. This criminality probe has reached its maximum reading when a former president has been sentenced to jail.

Next week not only is that irresponsible(and frankly unimpressive) old man on trial but in fact the credibility of the judiciary. When hearing the rescission application the CC has to examine themselves, their legal ability and their application of correct procedural aspects.

Even a slight reduction in sentence or any change from their previous order will mean that no citizen here can ever respect them again. In short the entire bench of the CC should resign if the order is changed-and they should appoint new, capable and credible justices.

Truly one of the lowest moments in South Africa’s sad history-evidencing at best a banana republic-worse a failed state where the highest court is unable to meet the required threshold of legal capability.

Indeed they might gain some respect if they increase the 15 months to 24

SA’s finest come out to play.

Wow the world is watching, maybe some one out there is wondering why we handed this country to them in 1994……………

Up to date as ever!
As the wheels of justice slowly turn … can we expect charges re super spreader events / defying Pandemic regulations, in … say, about ten years time?

Im waiting for JACOB ZUMA to set the Precedent … If the courts dont uphold their rules …..

then …. every South Africa should not pay taxes thereafter!

Can anyone explain to me why Genesis 31:36 is being quoted on memes. Checked it out and it is all about a confrontation between Laban and Jacob. Are they supporting him or the opposite thereof, can’t figure ??

If Mr Zuma is not in jail by tomorrow, we can be assured of the collapse of the legal system in favour of the ANC cadre system. And if he stays out of jail with a slap on the wrist – house arrest or similar, the billion rand Zondo Commission would have been yet another waste of taxpayer’s money.

I think the Zondo commission was a waste of taxpayer’s money, designed to deflect attention and defer actual criminal proceedings against the deployed cadres. Am I wrong?

Now let me see – Jacob chose not to participate in the Concourt proceedings relating to his contempt case. Now that judgement has been delivered and he has been sentenced now he decides that he should participate. If the Concourt entertains his representations then it sets a precedent by the highest court in the land that this is acceptable behaviour for all lower courts, as I understand the legal process. So I can ignore summonses and then when charged with contempt I can choose not to participate in the process and then when judgement is given and I am sentenced then I can apply for the decision to be overturned? It makes a mockery of the court system in the country (there is no justice in the system so it can’t be called that). Some pigs are indeed more equal than others!
The other question is who is paying his legal costs? The taxpayer? Someone needs to be asking that question in parliament!

I can’t see Zuma getting away with this! He stands on a crowded stage at Nkandla during lockdown level 4 while sharing a microphone with tens of other people while addressing hundreds of people and he has the audacity to claim that he is too old to go to prison during a pandemic for fear of catching the virus…I mean is this guy just stupid of what?

He then stands there throwing insults at the Zondo commission and the judiciary system all over again. The ConCourt gave him a hefty sentence because of the way he disrespected the courts and there he stands…mic in hand, disrespecting the courts once more! Man, this guys is dumb. He is totally contradicting his application to the courts as well as being hypocritical. There is no way the courts will grant him a stay of his sentencing after Sundays little get-together.

Nearby in Eswatini the military mowed down hundreds and killed over 40.
Strangely seems to be kept quiet in local media. I would have thought it would at least make pg2.
I suggest the local law enforcement consult with their no-nonsense neighbors if there’s any trouble in shackling their rogue leader.

Well, if there’s anything to be said for SAPS pussyfooting around it’s that they’ve avoided another Marikana so far (albeit that there would be a certain satisfaction in seeing the ‘die for Zuma’ brigade walking the talk).

There is no moral equivalence with the situation in eSwatini.

Today it’s Zuma who pooh-poohs the authority of the highest court in the land, tomorrow it’s any Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to undermine people’s rights. This ruling simply has to hold. The integrity of our country depends on it. Either Zuma goes to jail, or it will inspire others to let South Africa descend into civil war.

End of comments.

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