The Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture has welcomed the 15-month jail sentence handed down to former president Jacob Zuma.
The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) on Tuesday found Zuma guilty of contempt of court for failing to obey a court order compelling him to appear before the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Zuma was ordered to report to the Nkandla or Johannesburg police stations within five days to start serving his prison sentence. It has been confirmed the former president has “chosen to be close to home”.
“The commission views the judgment as one of great importance for the rule of law, the principle of equality before the law, the primacy of our Constitution and the protection of our constitutional democracy,” the commission said in a statement.
It said the ruling showed that no person, despite their status in society, was above the law.
“The judgment is also significant for the independence of our judiciary. In the commission’s view the judgment sends a profoundly important message to all in our country that there are serious consequences for anyone who defies summonses and orders of courts and that such conduct will not be tolerated, no matter what the person’s status is in society.
“The commission will continue with its work in the knowledge that the highest court in the land has made it clear that summonses issued by the commission most be complied with and orders of courts must be obeyed.”
The commission previously opened a criminal case against Zuma for failing to appear before the inquiry in January and February this year.
Zuma previously slammed the commission for spreading “political propaganda” against him, saying Zondo was attempting to “turn all narratives against me into evidence”.
The former president said he had decided not to appear before the commission in an effort to vindicate the Constitution instead of undermining it.