Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus has accused the judiciary of being a dictatorship, after Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday filed court papers to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) asking it to sentence former president Jacob Zuma to two years in jail for contempt of court.
This follows Zuma’s refusal to appear before the Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture last week to answer questions put to him as ordered by the apex court in January.
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Police Minister Bheki Cele and Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser were cited respondents to the case as the commission wants them to be ordered to effect Zuma’s imprisonment should its application succeed.
Niehaus, a staunch supporter of Zuma, took to Twitter on Monday to suggest to his followers that the judiciary was hell-bent on deepening the crisis surrounding the former president’s standoff with Justice Zondo.
He has repeated his vow that the MKMVA would oppose “to the hilt” any attempts by the Zondo commission to hold Zuma accountable.
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He tweeted: “Have #JudgeZondo & the whole #StateCaptureCommission lost their minds? Are they hell bent to deepen the crisis that they have created & push our country over the brink? This is now a dictatorship of the judiciary. #MKMVA will oppose this to the hilt! [SIC]”.
Have #JudgeZondo & the whole #StateCaptureCommission lost their minds? Are they hell bent to deepen the crisis that they have created, & push our country over the brink? This is now a dictatorship of the judiciary. #MKMVA will oppose this to the hilt! ✊????https://t.co/XFpnFfRAwc
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) February 22, 2021
Niehaus’s comments are the latest salvo fired at the country’s judiciary by Zuma and his supporters in recent weeks, who have accused some judges of advancing political agendas and accepting bribes. Zuma has taken aim at the courts, claiming judges had “sold their souls” and forsaken their oaths of office.
Niehaus told The Citizen last week that the MKMVA “sincerely hope that there will not be a foolhardy attempt to arrest president Zuma. We don’t believe that it’s in the interest of the country, nor in the interests of the ANC”.
On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa slammed the attacks on the judiciary saying people – especially those in positions of power – should not make such claims without presenting evidence.
“There are clear processes established in law to deal with allegations of misconduct against members of the judiciary.
“Anyone who has evidence of any wrongdoing by any judge should make use of the avenues provided in our Constitution and in our law to ensure that appropriate action is taken,” Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter.