ConCourt must impose jail term if Zuma is in contempt of court: Zondo

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. File photo
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Former president Jacob Zuma cannot be allowed to promote anarchy in the country by defying the courts.

And to set an example, the Constitutional Court must impose a jail term for his defiance of it and the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

That is according to commission chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo who on Monday said the commission would petition the apex court to issue an order for Zuma’s imprisonment.

This after Zuma once again failed to obey a summons issued for his appearance at the commission on Monday.

To ensure that no-one copies Zuma’s antics, said Zondo, there must be a strong message that such actions had severe consequences.

“The commission will make an application to the Constitutional Court and seek an order that Mr Zuma is guilty of contempt of court, and if the Constitutional Court reaches that conclusion then it is in its discretion what to do,” said Zondo.

“One of the things would be to impose a term of imprisonment on Mr Zuma and another would be to impose a fine. The commission will ask the Constitutional Court to impose a term of imprisonment if it finds Mr Zuma guilty of contempt court.”

Zondo said Zuma, as a former president of the country who on two occasion took a public oath to protect and defend the constitution, must lead by example.

Having failed to do so, Zuma was openly encouraging lawlessness that would render the country a banana republic.

He must be stopped in his tracks, said Zondo.

“This is very serious because if it is allowed to prevail, there will be lawlessness and chaos in the courts.

“There may be other people who will decide to follow his example when they are served with summons in other court processes.

“If the message that is sent out is that people can ignore or disregard summons and orders of courts with impunity, there will be very little that will be left of our democracy.”

by Mawande AmaShabalala

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