‘South Africa now a fully fledged Constitutional dictatorship’ – Zuma

FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday July 16, 2019, former South African president Jacob Zuma looks on at the state commission probing allegations of corruption in government, in Johannesburg. South African media say the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday Nov. 29, 2019, has dismissed Zuma’s attempt to appeal a ruling that cleared the way for him to be prosecuted for corruption.(AP Photo/FILE)

Durban – Former president Jacob Zuma’s foundation on Monday issued a statement with Zuma saying he believes history will vindicate him for referring to the country having transitioned from a constitutional democracy to a constitutional dictatorship.

In the statement Zuma said the country’s laws were repeatedly bent when it came to him as he apportioned blame to former public protector Thuli Madonsela, the commission chaired by Judge Raymond Zondo and the ConCourt for saying it does not have to consider international law.

The statement comes days after the foundation announced that Zuma is set to take his fight over his 15-month imprisonment for contempt of the Constitutional Court to the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

This after the Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed Zuma’s application to rescind the court’s judgment.

“After the judgment of the Constitutional Court on 17 September 2021, I am more than certain of this than ever before,” Zuma said in reference to the “constitutional dictatorship”.

“Many of our people are blind to this reality at this point because they have been successfully hypnotised by the long-standing anti-Zuma narrative,” Zuma said.

He said it was convenient that the laws of the country are “repeatedly bent and manipulated when dealing with Zuma”.

He provided three examples saying the first was when previous public protector Madonsela made a recommendation that a commission of inquiry be set up instead of handing over the investigation to her successor.

“Given that this was a case that had something to do with Zuma, a different process was followed.”

The second example, Zuma said, was the commission chaired by Judge Raymond Zondo in terms of the Commissions Act of 1947 with Zuma saying “this Act is clear on what the law is in cases of contempt of commissions”.

“Legally and as again stated by the dissenting judgment, the Commissions Act is the primary legislation that had to be followed as it had been followed when PW Botha refused to appear before the TRC. The Constitutional Court in this case somehow found it fitting to deviate from its own rules and it was again another case of the laws and the constitution being bent and manipulated to specifically deal with Zuma,” he said.

Zuma said he would have used the opportunity to lead evidence before an independent judge but the ConCourt made decisions “that have never been taken in our law by asking that I do a mitigation of sentence where there had been no conviction”.

Zuma also took issue with the ConCourt for saying it does not have to consider international law as directed by Section 39(1)(b) of the Constitution.

Zuma said it was his constitutional right to critique judges “the same way they have a right to critique me as a politician”.

Zuma’s woes started in December 2020 when the Zondo Commission approached the ConCourt on an urgent basis, seeking an order to the effect that Zuma was legally obliged to comply with the commission’s directives and summonses and appear before it to testify.

The majority ruling on Friday read by Justice Sisi Khampepe said Zuma has met neither the requirements of a rescission nor the requirements of one as governed by the common law.

“It is unfortunate, to say the very least, that Mr Zuma failed to bring the submissions with which he now arms himself to this court before we reached this point,” Khampepe said.