Former President Jacob Zuma has struck a defiant note, saying he will not hand himself over to the police to begin the 15-month sentence handed on Tuesday by the Constitutional Court.
Zuma said this while addressing the Amazulu regiments (Amabutho) outside his home in Nkandla on Saturday afternoon, following his first public appearance since the sentence was handed down by Justice Sisi Khampempe.
In his address to the Amabutho, he made it clear he had done nothing wrong and would not be handing himself over to the police as ordered by the apex court.
He insisted that he knew nothing about the charges related to his 15-month sentence handed by Khampempe, and took a swipe at the judiciary, warning that those in power will one day live to “regret” their decisions.
“It will be difficult for me to hand myself over for imprisonment when I have done nothing wrong,” Zuma said.
“This to me is a clear indication that that lawmakers, and even maybe those that are in power do not have an idea of what it means to be in power and to be in charge of taking care of the laws.”
“When you are given power, you must not dare take that for granted, because the result of doing so could have far-reaching consequences in the country, something that can easily be prevented,’ a defiant Zuma said to loud cheers.
“I would like to remind you that even during the times when this commission was formed, I made remarks that one day there will be consequences because they were asking me to do something never before done.”
Zuma said that the whole idea of the Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture was wrong.
He said South Africa was the only country in the world to ever request its officials to investigate their own government and matters of governance.
“Not even a single one, and if you do that – it means you have no idea of the meaning of ruling because each and every country has its own secrets that are never spoken publicly.”
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Scores of people and organisations have since descended to Nkandla in the north of KwaZulu Natal to stand in solidarity with Zuma, who was until yesterday expected to hand himself over to the nearest police station in Nkandla or in Johannesburg to begin his sentence.
However, the Constitutional Court on Saturday agreed to hear his contempt of court rescission application on Monday, 12 July 2021.
Zuma said crowds flocking to his defence was a sign that people were not happy with the ConCourt’s decision.
“You can not… make decisions that upset the people and do things that they are opposing, just because you have the powers.
“I think your support has been immensely important and hopefully, it will make those that are in power to realise that they are ruling over human beings and they cannot just take decisions lightly,” said Zuma.