News / South Africa / State Capture

Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
30 Jun 2021
10:38 am

‘Court orders must be obeyed’ – Zondo Commission welcomes Zuma ruling

Citizen Reporter

The commission opened a criminal case against former president for failing to appear before the inquiry this year.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the state capture commission in Braamfontein. Picture: Neil McCartney

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.

ALSO READ: Jacob Zuma: From SA’s liberation hero to convicted criminal

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.

READ MORE: Credibility vs retribution: State Capture walkouts, no-shows and critiques

“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.”

Defiant Zuma

The commission previously opened a criminal case against Zuma for failing to appear before the inquiry in January and February this year.

This was after the ConCourt ruled that Zuma should appear before the commission and answer questions put to him, but he vowed not to do so, maintaining his stance that he doesn’t fear being arrested.

ALSO READ: Edward Zuma on his father’s impending jailing: ‘They will have to kill me first’

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.