Zuma to jail: Mkhwebane prefers minority judgment which disagreed with 15 months sentence

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Jan Gerber, News24
  • Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she was in support of the minority judgment of the Constitutional Court on Jacob Zuma. 
  • The minority judgment disagreed with the majority decision that Zuma be sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt. 
  • Mkhwebane said she would study the judgments. 

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she favours the minority judgment of the Constitutional Court that disagreed with the judgment that former president Jacob Zuma be sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment after being found guilty of contempt of court.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Mkhwebane said she was studying the judgment.

She added she believed everyone had a right to be heard and those rights ought to be protected by the Constitution.

"I think I'm more aligned to the minority judgment in this particular matter," Mkhwebane said.

SEE | Zuma supporters descend on Nkandla and ask: 'What has he done?'

Acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe delivered a majority judgment on Tuesday ordering that Zuma start serving a 15-month jail term within five days.

"The only appropriate sanction is a direct, unsuspended order of imprisonment. The alternative is to effectively sentence the legitimacy of the judiciary to inevitable decay," Khampepe said.

READ | Justice Khampepe: Zuma gave ConCourt 'no choice' but to imprison him

However, justices Leona Theron and Chris Jafta disagreed with that in a minority judgment.

"In my view, the Constitution does not allow private parties to obtain a punitive order of unsuspended committal in civil contempt proceedings, even when they are acting in the public interest," Theron stated in a decision that Khampepe and the Concourt's majority sharply disagreed with.

Mkhwebane expressed her concerns about how it was unfortunate the Zondo Commission established by her office had not yet released its report.

The commission was set up following a report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

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