'Zuma is playing a dangerous game,' DA's Glynnis Breytenbach says after attack on judiciary

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DA MP Glynnis Breyetenbach.
DA MP Glynnis Breyetenbach.
Jan Gerber/News24
  • The DA called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn former president Jacob Zuma for his latest attack on the judiciary.
  • Corruption-accused Zuma railed against the Zondo commission and Constitutional Court in 21-page missive to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
  • DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said a failure to condemn his behaviour would amount to tacit approval.

Accusing him of "playing a dangerous game by undermining the highest court in our land", DA spokesperson on justice, Glynnis Breytenbach, called on the ANC to condemn former president Jacob Zuma's latest move.

Her comments were made after the former president kept up his defiance of the Zondo commission and Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

Instead of filing an affidavit of no longer than 15 pages on what sentence he should serve for alleged criminal contempt, he sent a missive of 21 pages to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. In it, he explained why he refused to cooperate with neither the commission, nor the highest court in the land.

READ | Zuma faces R25m legal bill after SCA blocks State funding his corruption trial costs

"My position in respect of the contempt of court proceedings is a conscientious objection to what I consider to be an extraordinary abuse of judicial authority to advance politically charged narratives of a politically but very powerful commercial and political interests(sic) through the Zondo commission," Zuma wrote

"I was sad to see the Constitutional Court fail to uphold elementary constitutional standards of human dignity, advancement of rights and freedom. I was particularly shocked to learn that the Constitutional Court found it consistent with its constitutional mission to – in support of the Zondo commission – to strip me of constitutional rights guaranteed in our Constitution."

READ | Zuma and Hlophe: Will ConCourt and JSC imprison and push to impeach?

"I have no doubt that the Zondo commission has become a complex project, controlled by my political foes. Even though I established the commission, I was aware that it had been proposed as part of the campaigns to force me out of government."

Later in the letter, he stated that the commission was "unlawfully established".

Former president Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC national conference in Nasrec in December 2017.

But, in a statement released on Thursday, Breytenbach called on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn Zuma's "latest attack on the integrity of the judiciary".

Dangerous

"Zuma is playing a dangerous game by undermining the highest court in our land and the failure of President Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn their former leader's actions is tantamount to an implied approval of his latest attack on the judiciary."

Breytenbach believes Zuma had evaded justice for far too long.

"It is disgraceful that the ANC has not only encouraged this type of behaviour but has failed to condemn Zuma's latest attack on the judiciary. It is even more shocking that Ramaphosa was heard telling Zuma, in a leaked ANC top six video, that he views him as 'my leader and as my elder in the ANC'.

"As president of the country, Ramaphosa, in particular, needs to step up and condemn these attacks on the judiciary. Even if the ANC remains silent, he, as the leader of the country, should speak up when someone as prominent as a former president undermines the judiciary."

"It is time our president found a better, more ethical leader than Zuma. The DA calls on President Ramaphosa to condemn Zuma's blatant attack on the judiciary. Any failure to censure the former ANC president should be viewed as tacit approval of Zuma's disgraceful actions."

Two weeks ago, Zuma's speaking notes of his meeting with the ANC top six found its way into the public domain. In it, he questioned constitutional democracy.

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