State actors 'have gone rogue' - Defend our Democracy calls for law to apply to everyone

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Former president Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma
PHOTO: Thulani Mbele/Gallo Images, Sowetan
  • Jacob Zuma, who ratified the establishment of the Zondo commission after much pressure, claims the inquiry is unconstitutional.
  • The ConCourt will soon announce whether Zuma is guilty of contempt of court for disobeying the court's order to appear before the commission.
  • Thuli Madonsela says the commission has not yet done anything to indicate it doesn't comply with the equality clause of the Constitution.

The group Defend Our Democracy held a virtual rally on Sunday where its supporters raised concerns about former president Jacob Zuma's defiance of a Constitutional Court ruling to appear before the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

Professor Thuli Madonsela, the former public protector and current Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at the University of Stellenbosch, said the commission has "not yet done anything to indicate that it does not comply with the equality clause of the Constitution".

She warned that the country would face anarchy if the law was not applied to all people.

READ | Jail me, Zuma dares ConCourt as chief justice plays politics in JSC interviews

Zuma, who has refused to appear before the commission, established the inquiry after much pressure and due to the strength of investigations into state capture by Madonsela's office.

Zuma now claims the commission is unconstitutional. The commission asked the Constitutional Court to impose a two-year prison sentence on the former president after he repeatedly failed to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to give testimony.

The Constitutional Court will soon announce whether Zuma is guilty of contempt of court for disobeying the court's order to appear before the commission.

Zuma previously demanded that Zondo recuse himself from the commission.

However, Zondo refused and the commission approached the Constitutional Court to request it to compel Zuma to appear before the inquiry.

Defend Our Democracy is a campaign calling on South Africans to defend the Constitution and democracy. It was established earlier this year.

ALSO READ | Zuma tells Mogoeng he is 'resigned to being a prisoner of the Constitutional Court'

"There are state actors who we have elected to positions and entrusted with our democracy who have gone rogue and who have used the positions we put them in to loot and work together with non-state actors," former anti-apartheid activist Reverend Frank Chikane, from Defend Our Democracy, said.

He said efforts to stop the rot by establishing commissions have caused those implicated to push back and refuse to go to jail.

Chikane said:

We must make sure the corrupt have no place to hide. We must ensure the government delivers to the people.

Former Springbok wing Bryan Habana said it felt "like we are in a moment of despair. The rule of law needs to be applied to everyone. The world is watching us as South Africans and we need to create a proud future for our children".

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