Former president Jacob Zuma’s foundation has hit out at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, saying its proposed two-year imprisonment against Zuma should he be found to be in contempt of court is inconsistent with the Commissions Act of 1947.
This commission turned to the Constitutional Court earlier this month after Zuma failed to appear before the inquiry to answer questions put to him as ordered by the court.
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In a statement on Monday morning, the foundation said the 1947 act talks about six months imprisonment, or 55 pounds fine, not the two-year imprisonment that the commission is seeking.
“The 1947 act talks about six months imprisonment, or 55 pounds fine, not the two-years imprisonment that the honourable judge who is chairing the commission alone, suggests,” the foundation said.
The foundation also said the commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, was abusing his position as the second in charge of the ConCourt by “instructing his subordinates to bend the laws of the country”.
“It is clear that laws are being changed to deal with president Zuma like how the apartheid government created [Robert] Sobukwe laws to deal with Sobukwe. Indeed, it sounds like an old apartheid regime in the hands of the black leaders in the democratic South Africa,” the statement said.
— Dudu Zuma-Sambudla (@DZumaSambudla) March 1, 2021
Justice Zondo has asked the ConCourt to declare Zuma in contempt of court and to be sentenced to two years imprisonment.
In papers filed urgently last week, Zondo wants the court to confirm Zuma is “guilty of contempt of court in that in disobedience of paragraphs 4 and 5 of this court’s order” in that he “intentionally and unlawfully failed to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture… on the 15th to the 19th of February 2021 in compliance with the summons issued by the secretary of the commission on 30 November 2020″.
Zuma also “intentionally and unlawfully failed or refused to furnish the commission with affidavits in compliance with the directives issued by the chairperson of the commission” last year.
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