ANC says Zuma ConCourt judgment a 'difficult period', JZ Foundation says he may address nation

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Pule Mabe Photo: Daily Sun
Pule Mabe Photo: Daily Sun
  • The ANC said it noted the Constitutional Court judgment against former president Jacob Zuma. 
  • The party said it was a "difficult period and called for calm". 
  • The Jacob Zuma Foundation said his legal team was studying the judgment. 

The ANC says it has noted the Constitutional Court judgment which sentenced former president Jacob Zuma to 15 months behind bars, adding it was a "difficult period" and called for calm. 

On Tuesday, acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe ruled that Zuma was guilty of contempt of court for disregarding a previous ConCourt judgment instructing him to appear and co-operate with the Zondo Commission. 

Khampepe ruled Zuma had five days to report to the police to serve his 15 months' sentence. 

In a statement, the ANC said it was studying the judgment. 

"Without doubt, this is a difficult period in the movement and we call upon our members to remain calm. The meeting of the national executive committee [NEC], scheduled to take place this weekend, will reflect on implications and consequences of the judgment.

"We further reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rule of law and fulfilling the aspirations of our constitutional democracy," party spokesperson Pule Mabe added. 

ALSO READ | 'Calculated and insidious': Here are 10 takeaways from the ConCourt judgment against Jacob Zuma

Meanwhile, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said its legal team was studying the judgment.

Earlier, Zuma's daughter, Duduzile Zuma, said he would report to the Nkandla police station. 

In delivering the judgment, Khampepe said Zuma's conduct was egregious. 

"Never before has this court's authority and legitimacy been subjected to the kinds of attacks that Mr Zuma has elected to launch against it and its members. Never before has the judicial process been so threatened." 

She added she considered Zuma's age in the sentence, but had to set an example for anyone guilty of such a contempt of court like Zuma. 

ALSO READ | Zuma sentenced to jail time, what happens next? We ask an expert

"Adopting this approach, I have carefully considered, for example, the fact that Mr Zuma is of an advanced age which is usually accompanied by the onset of frailties.

"However, I am ultimately unpersuaded that the cumulative effect of these factors does anything to counterbalance the profound and significant impact of the aggravating factors."

Khampepe said Zuma not only violated the ConCourt, but also the judiciary's sanctity.

"In other words, the focus must be on what kind of sentence will demonstrate that orders made by a court must be obeyed and, to Mr Zuma, that his contempt and contumacy is rebukeable in the strongest sense.

"With this in mind then, I order an unsuspended sentence of imprisonment of 15 months. I do so in the knowledge that this cannot properly capture the damage that Mr Zuma has done to the dignity and integrity of the judicial system of a democratic and constitutional nation.

"He owes this sentence in respect of violating not only this court, nor even just the sanctity of the judiciary, but to the nation he once promised to lead and to the Constitution he once vowed to uphold," she added.

The SACP, in response to the judgment, said: "We wish to stress the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law, including the principle that no person is above the law. The SACP calls on everybody to respect the judgment."

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