Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
4 Jul 2021
8:46 pm

South Africa sliding back into apartheid era, says Zuma on jail sentence

Siyanda Ndlovu

Zuma said his sentence without trial, Ace Magashule's suspension, and Covid-19 lockdowns were all reminiscent of apartheid laws.

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Supplied

Former president Jacob Zuma says current events unfolding in South Africa are signs that the country is sliding back into the apartheid era.

Zuma addressed the media at his Nkandla homestead on Sunday night, and made it clear that he was not going to and himself over to the police station, as per the directives of the Constitutional Court ruling on Tuesday.

“The fact that I was lambasted with punitive jail sentence without trial is something that should induce sense of shock to all those who cherish freedom for rule of law,” said Zuma.

He said that the rule of law did not mean “dealing harshly with those you did not agree with.”

“I am concerned that South Africa is fast going back to apartheid rule.”

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“The secretary-general has a banning order prohibiting him from addressing meetings, we have level 4 lockdown with all state of emergency and curfews of the 1980’s.”

“The difference is use of levels and contempt of court instead of detention without trial but substance is same.”

He said that jail without trial was no different to apartheid laws.

“I believe in the rule of law that I fought for and went to prison and exile so that there must be justice and rule of law in the country.” said Zuma.

“I have a duty however to ensure that the dignity and respect for our judiciary is not compromised by sentences that remind our people of apartheid… this is travesty of justice particularly if you cannot identify your case number.”

Zuma said that it was not fair to accuse him of being an enemy of the law.

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After making it clear that he was not going to hand himself over to the police on Sunday, Zuma said this was not his decision alone.

“If it was up to me I would once again go to jail for my beliefs as early as today, whether I come alive or not, but I have never operated as an individual; I am guided by the views of comrades and family.”

Zuma reiterated that he was not scared of going to jail.

“I am not scared of going to jail for my beliefs, it will not the first time I will be a prisoner of conscience. I spent 10 year in Robben Island, under difficult conditions.”