The Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) says it disagrees with the decision by the chairperson of the state capture commission of inquiry, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to approach the Constitutional Court to impose a term of imprisonment on former president Jacob Zuma.
Zondo announced this on Monday after Zuma stayed away from the commission despite being summonsed.
The association’s president Kebby Maphatsoe said they would still support Zuma despite the court order and the Zondo commission’s decision to seek a jail penalty against Zuma for defying and undermining the highest court in the land.
He said that the association would mobilise its members and provide support and protection for Zuma no matter what the situation is.
“It is unfortunate that the Zondo commission has arrived at this decision but we still stand by our view and commitment to support former president Jacob Zuma come rain, come anything we will be with him,” said Maphatsoe after the Zondo verdict.
He said the state capture commission of inquiry was specifically created for Zuma’s downfall in order to make him the face of corruption.
He said that Zondo’s decision was no surprise because there has always been an agenda by foreign intelligence forces to assassinate Zuma’s character.
“We sat down with the former president and he explained to us that there is an agenda which comes from the foreign intelligence forces that he must rise into any senior position in the ANC including government and the only way to deal with him is through character assassination,” he said.
The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution’s Lawson Naidoo said the commission had no other option.
“I welcome the fact that the commission will be initiating a court application ... for a contempt of court order and asking the court to impose a term of imprisonment given the seriousness of Zuma’s conduct, this was the only option open to the commission,” said Naidoo.
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In terms of Constitutional Court order, Zuma was supposed to appear before the commission on Monday until Friday to give evidence on various matters being investigated by the commission.
“It is not the authority of the Constitutional Court that I reject, but it’s abuse by a few judges,” Zuma said in a statement on Monday.
“I have presented myself to the Zondo Commission twice and therefore there was no factual justification for the order given by the Constitutional Court. Nonewhatsoever.”
Zondo said Zuma had no valid reason not to appear before the commission and that if he wanted to oppose the commission’s application to the Constitutional Court, he should have a approached the court to explain and give reasons for the summons to be set aside.
“Zuma had a full opportunity to put whatever reasons he believed justified him in not complying with the summons and allowed the constitutional court to decide on those reasons,” said Zondo.
He said the commission viewed Zuma’s conduct in a very serious light.
“As you sharpen your pens to condemn me, I reiterate that I stand by my earlier statement and will not appear before a process that is not impartial,” Zuma said.