The Jacob Zuma Foundation has described the Constitutional Court judgment sentencing the former president to 15 months behind bars as “judicially emotional,” angry and inconsistent with the country’s Constitution.
In a statement late on Wednesday the foundation accused the court of failing to act independently and without bias.
On Tuesday, the apex court made a landmark ruling and sentenced the country’s former president to 15 months after finding him guilty of contempt of court.
Zuma had refused to abide by its order to return to the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture to testify before it.
The foundation has since denied remarks by Justice Sisi Khampepe in her judgment delivery that Zuma had attacked the Constitutional Court.
“The majority judgment makes a spurious claim that our patron attacked the Constitutional Court which is false,” foundation spokeperson Mzwanele Manyi said.
Manyi described this as a lie and suggested the justices relied on gross slander to convict and sentence Zuma unfairly.
“The characterisation of our patron by the majority panel paints a picture of a very angry panel of judges. We concur with the view of other justices who said the Constitutional Court majority acted contrary to the rule of law.”
“If true it is unconstitutional and a serious conflict for the same ‘vilified’ panel of judges, which is supposedly embroiled in a running, bitter controversy with the alleged contemnor [a person who is in contempt of court] to preside as judges in their own case.”
Four specific issues are raised in the statement, among them that Zuma understood the task of the commission and he does not believe he is above the law.
The foundation it was not a criminal act to dispute an administrative agency like the commission of inquiry and that equality before the law has been violated against him.
Zuma was granted five days to hand himself over to the police in Nkandla or Johannesburg, failing which police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole will have to act.