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WRAP | ConCourt dismisses rescission application, orders Jacob Zuma to pay commission's legal costs

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Former president Jacob Zuma's legal battles continue.
Former president Jacob Zuma's legal battles continue.
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17 September 11:09

ICYMI - WATCH

17 September 11:08

The Constitutional Court has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma's application to have the contempt of court judgment against him rescinded.

In its majority judgment on Friday, the apex court ruled that Zuma did not meet the requirements of a rescission application and sought to reopen the merits of the contempt proceedings, which had already been disposed of.

The court also awarded a costs order against Zuma.

This was the order made in the majority judgment.

There were two dissenting judgments, by Justice Leona Theron and Justice Chris Jafta.

The dissenting judgment effectively found that Zuma's imprisonment should be dismissed, as the correct procedures were not followed and Zuma did not have the right to appeal, as would be the procedure in a criminal trial.

A majority decision by the Constitutional Court previously found that Zuma was in contempt of court after he ignored an order from the same court to appear before the State Capture Commission.

The court sentenced Zuma to 15 months' imprisonment.

 - Alex Mitchley

<p>The Constitutional Court has dismissed former president
Jacob Zuma's application to have the contempt of court judgment against him
rescinded.
</p><p>In its majority judgment on Friday, the apex court ruled
that Zuma did not meet the requirements of a rescission application and sought
to reopen the merits of the contempt proceedings, which had already been
disposed of.
</p><p>The court also awarded a costs order against Zuma.
</p><p>This was the order made in the majority judgment.
</p><p>There were two dissenting judgments, by Justice Leona Theron
and Justice Chris Jafta.
</p><p>The dissenting judgment effectively found that Zuma's
imprisonment should be dismissed, as the correct procedures were not followed
and Zuma did not have the right to appeal, as would be the procedure in a criminal
trial.
</p><p>A majority decision by the Constitutional Court previously
found that Zuma was in contempt of court after he ignored an order from the
same court to appear before the State Capture Commission.
</p><p>The court sentenced Zuma to 15 months' imprisonment.
</p><p><em>&nbsp;- Alex Mitchley</em></p>

17 September 11:02

Khampepe: "In the result, the majority of the Constitutional Court makes the following order: 1). Direct access is granted. 2). Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution and Democracy in Action are admitted as amici curiae. 3). The application for rescission is dismissed. 4). Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is ordered to pay the costs of the secretary of the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector including organs of state, and Raymond Mnyamezeli Zondo, [N.O.], including the costs of two counsel."

Khampepe concludes: "I hand down the judgment."

17 September 10:52

Constitutional Court order handed down: Application for rescission is dismissed. Zuma is ordered to pay costs to the commission, including the cost of two counsel.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:50

The second judgment (dissenting) concluded that the detention was invalid and should be set aside, as it is not consistent with the Constitution, as he didn't have the right to appeal and the correct procedures were not followed.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:50

Khampepe: "For all that can be said is that the predicament in which he (Zuma) now finds himself, is not the making of the court, nor does the solution lie with the court."

Khampepe: "The hands of the Constitutional Court are bound and Mr Zuma himself bound them."

17 September 10:45

Khampepe: "Mr Zuma has met neither the requirements of a rescission in terms of Rule 42, subsection 1(a), nor the requirements of one as governed by the common law."

Khampepe says Zuma is seeking to reopen the merits of the contempt proceedings, which have been disposed of already, the majority judgment notes.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:43

The second judgment, which is a dissenting judgment, concluded that Zuma's rights were breached. It contended that recourse (right to appeal) was required in terms of international law. It maintains that the order of the apex court is not compliant with the Constitution or international law and as such, can be rescinded.

The majority judgment disputed the relevance of international law and said it should not be mischaracterised. These laws can also not be enforced if not accepted by Parliament.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:41

The apex court says it would not be in the interest of justice to relax or expand on the grounds of a rescission application.

Khampepe now moves on to Zuma's conduct. She says that the majority judgment finds that Zuma's behaviour pointed to the conclusion that he resigned himself to any decision that the court had made. He wilfully refused to participate in litigation and then reopened the case when it suited him.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:38

The majority judgment also finds that there are no grounds to expand the grounds of rescission as per Zuma's arguments.

The majority judgment finds that although there are circumstances which justify a rescission or expanding the grounds of such an application, there was nothing in Zuma's case that could be construed as exceptional allowing the court to consider expanding the grounds of rescission.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:37

The Constitutional Court finds that Zuma had multiple opportunities to bring these issues to the court, but chose not to. Further, the apex court finds that Zuma's grounds for rescission are devoid of merit.

The Constitutional Court concludes that Zuma's application lacks prospects of success and that he failed to provide a reasonable explanation for his default on the court order.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:30

The majority finds that Zuma also failed to demonstrate why the order was erroneously granted.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:26

Khampepe now reads the majority judgment.

Khampepe says the majority judgment found that Zuma did not meet the requirements for rescission. The majority finds that Zuma's absence cannot be disputed, but that he was not precluded as he chose not to participate.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:24

Khampepe said three judgments have been penned. A majority judgment penned by Khampepe, and two dissenting judgments by Justice Theron and one by Justice Jafta.

- Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:23

The Helen Suzman Foundation argued that Zuma asked the apex court to essentially review its contempt of court procedures, which it had already correctly dealt with.

Casac argued that Zuma's rescission application had not met the requirements.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:21

The commission also emphasised the finality of litigation. Without it, the rule of law would be undermined.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:20

Khampepe now goes through the State Capture Inquiry's arguments in opposing the application. The commission argued that Zuma refused to participate in the proceedings, so it cannot be that the court made an error in making an order in his absence.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:18

Zuma had also maintained that he was not afforded an opportunity for recourse, such as an appeal, after being sentenced.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:17

Khampepe now goes through Zuma's arguments for the rescission application. The thrust is that the apex court made errors, specifically that the order was granted in his absence, and he was sentenced to prison time without a trial.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:15

Khampepe contends that while an order of the apex court cannot be appealed, it can be rescinded if it is believed that the court made an error in its order.

Khampepe also refers to Zuma's application to the KwaZulu-Natal High Court, where he attempted to have the apex court order suspended, pending the outcome of the rescission application. This was dismissed by the court.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:12

The majority judgment found that Zuma's rights had not been infringed in terms of the right to trial.

Khampepe says that after Zuma refused to make representations on his sentence, the majority judgment found it appropriate given the circumstances to sentence him to imprisonment.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:11

Going through the history, Khampepe repeats that Zuma elected not to oppose the proceedings.

Khampepe now refers to the majority judgment that she penned and the minority judgment which found it would be unconstitutional to sentence Zuma to prison time for civil contempt proceedings.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:09

Khampepe is now going through the history of the contempt of court proceedings, where the apex court found Zuma guilty and sentenced him to 15 months' imprisonment.

 - Alex Mitchley

17 September 10:07

Justice Sisi Khampepe is delivering the ruling. She wrote the majority decision that found Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt and ordered that he be imprisoned.

 - Karyn Maughan

17 September 10:06

Proceedings are now under way.

Justice Sisi Khampepe will deliver the Constitutional Court judgment on the rescission application by former president Jacob Zuma.

17 September 09:26

ICYMI

AfriForum launches court bid to have Zuma's medical parole set aside

AfriForum has approached the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria with an urgent two-part application to force National Commissioner of Correctional Services Arthur Fraser to disclose his reasons for granting former president Jacob Zuma medical parole and to have that decision set aside.

The lobby group filed the application on Wednesday after Fraser did not respond to a legal letter requesting Zuma's medical report and the reasons relied on to grant him medical parole.

READ MORE

17 September 09:26

ICYMI

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

Karyn Maughan | Fraser stands by decision to give Zuma medical parole, two legal challenges disagree

National Commissioner of Correctional Services Arthur Fraser insists his decision to override medical parole authorities and release Jacob Zuma was "lawful and procedural" – but, Karyn Maughan writes, two separate court challenges contend exactly the opposite. 

The Department of Correctional Services has until Friday to hand over the full record of National Commissioner Arthur Fraser's decision to release Jacob Zuma on medical parole - against the explicit recommendation of the medical parole advisory board.

But the DA and Helen Suzman Foundation, in two separate urgent court challenges to Fraser's decision, contend that there is already ample evidence that he violated correctional services legislation and the Constitution when he ordered the former president's release.

READ FULL COLUMN

17 September 09:26

ICYMI

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

Analysis | The chances of Zuma’s release being overturned

Experts say that former president Jacob Zuma’s release on medical parole stands to be overturned only if it was not based on rational justification. After spending less than three months in prison, Zuma is now a free man, having been granted medical parole by correctional services national commissioner Arthur Fraser.

On Wednesday, while speaking to SABC news, Fraser admitted he had come to that decision despite the medical advisory board counsel that deemed him to be in a stable condition.

READ MORE FROM CITY PRESS

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

Presidency evasive on new chief justice, Khusela Diko’s redeployment and Zuma parole

The Office of the Presidency has refused to divulge whether President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun the process of selecting a new chief justice.

Addressing the media on Tuesday morning ahead of the first day of the Cabinet lekgotla, Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said "on the issue of the new chief justice, I didn't give myself an opportunity to update myself on that".

READ MORE

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

Zondo commission: Hawks still after Zuma

While former president Jacob Zuma has just been released from prison barely two months into his 15-month sentence for contempt of court, City Press can confirm that the Hawks are pursuing another case against him for walking out of the Zondo commission last year.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, opened a case against Zuma after he staged a walkout during his testimony, but the case has since stalled because investigations have not been completed.

READ FULL STORY ON CITY PRESS

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

DA asks court to set aside Zuma's medical parole

The DA will apply to the court to overturn and set aside Correctional Services National Commissioner Arthur Fraser's decision to grant corruption-accused former president Jacob Zuma medical parole after the Medical Parole Advisory Board advised against it.

It emerged on Sunday that Zuma, serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, was granted medical parole. Fraser admitted earlier this week that he overruled the Medical Parole Advisory Board.

READ MORE

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

Zuma’s legal woes are far from over, say law experts

Despite former president Jacob Zuma having been granted parole allowing him to leave prison before the end of his 15-month sentence, analysts say his legal woes are far from over.

Benedict Phiri, a legal analyst, said the fact that correctional services national commissioner Arthur Fraser has overruled the department’s medical parole advisory board’s decision to turn down Zuma’s application for medical parole, now opens up an opportunity to challenge the decision in a court of law.

READ MORE FROM THE WITNESS

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

FOR SUBSCRIBERS

Zondo Inquiry accuses Zuma of 'grasping at every possible straw' to rescind contempt imprisonment

 - The Constitutional Court has yet to rule on Jacob Zuma's bid to rescind its majority ruling that he was guilty of contempt of its order that he must appear before the State Capture Inquiry - and should serve a 15-month prison sentence.

 - The apex court asked all the parties in the case to make submissions on whether it was "obliged to consider" the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when examining fair trial rights under the Constitution; and the right not to be detained without trial.

 - Zuma insists that the ConCourt's majority has committed an "egregious violation" of international law by not releasing him as soon as he sought a rescission of its judgment.

READ FULL STORY

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

ANALYSIS | Omphemetse Sibanda: The ConCourt's international law dilemma over Zuma imprisonment

Omphemetse Sibanda questions why the Constitutional Court is only considering now whether it is obliged to consider international law in relation to the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.

It is indeed interesting that "the Constitutional Court has asked the parties involved in former president Jacob Zuma's rescission application to make submissions on whether it is obliged to consider a United Nations (UN) covenant on civil and political rights". 

It is concerning that the Apex Court would, at this late stage of this case, ask for submissions on whether it is obliged to consider the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights when construing Sections 12(1)b and 35(3) of the Constitution.

READ FULL ANALYSIS

17 September 09:25

ICYMI

Zuma has 'taken every point in the book' to avoid answering charges against him, court hears

While former President Jacob Zuma's lawyers seek a postponement of his application for acquittal on corruption charges through a special plea, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) argued on Monday that the former President has for more than 10 years, "... taken every point in the book", to avoid answering to the charges against him.

Advocate Wim Trengove for the NPA said Zuma "desperately" seeks to avoid answering the charges of corruption, fraud, and money laundering made against him.

READ MORE
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