Jacob Zuma openly defies Zondo commission, says he is ready to be jailed




Jaco Zuma and Justice Zondo

Durban – In a bombshell statement on Monday morning, former president Jacob Zuma told the country he will openly defy a Constitutional Court ruling that compelled him to surrender himself to the Zondo commission and answer questions posed to him.

In a statement Zuma personally issued (not from his legal team or his foundation as usual), he said for far too long the country’s judiciary had thrown out the rule of fairness and made rulings solely aimed at humiliating him.

He added the Zondo commission had taken a leaf from the book of former Public Protector, Professor Thuli Madonsela, who he alleged during her tenure in office created “a special and different approach to specifically deal with him”.

“Recently the commission ran to the  Constitutional Court on an urgent basis to get the Constitutional Court to compel me to attend at the commission and to compel me to give answers at the commission, effectively undermining a litany of my constitutional rights including the right to the presumption of innocence.

“I have never said that I do not want to appear before the commission but have said that I cannot appear before Deputy Chief Justice Zondo because of a well-founded apprehension of bias and a history of personal relations between the Deputy Chief Justice and myself. I have taken the decision by the Deputy Chief Justice not to recuse himself on review as I believe his presiding over the proceedings  does not provide me the certainty of a fair and just hearing.”

Going on, Zuma said it appears he had become the modern-day Robert Sobukwe. This in reference to the Sobukwe clause of the apartheid government and its compromised judiciary which had a special way to only deal with Sobukwe, the former leader of the PAC (Pan Africanist Congress).

“The recent decision of the Constitutional Court also mimics the posture of the commission in that it has now also created a special and different set of circumstances specifically designed to deal with Zuma by suspending my  Constitutional rights rendering me completely defenceless against the commission. This conjures up memories of how the apartheid government passed the General Laws Amendment Act 37 in 1963 which introduced a new clause of indefinite detention specifically intended to be used against then  PAC leader, Robert Sobukwe.

“The parallels are too similar to ignore given that Sobukwe was specifically targeted for his ideological stance on liberation. I on the other hand am the target of propaganda, vilification and falsified claims against me for my stance on the transformation of this country and its economy. The Commission of Inquiry Into Allegations of State Capture should have been rightly named the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State  Capture against Jacob Zuma as it has been obviously established to investigate me specifically,” Zuma claimed.

Signing off, he told the commission he did not fear being jailed.

“In the circumstances, I am left with no other alternative but to be defiant against injustice as I did against the apartheid government. I am again  prepared to go to prison to defend the constitutional rights that I personally fought for and to serve whatever sentence that this democratically elected  government deems appropriate as part of the special and different laws for  Zuma agenda.”

Political Bureau