Zuma's daughter says he will report to Nkandla police, opposition parties welcome sentence

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  • Jacob Zuma's daughter says he will report to the Nkandla police station after he was sentenced to 15 months behind bars. 
  • The Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that Zuma was guilty of contempt and gave him five days to report to the police. 
  • Opposition parties have welcomed the judgment.

Jacob Zuma's daughter, Duduzile Zuma, has indicated that her father will comply with the 15-month jail term the Constitutional Court sentenced him to and hand himself over to the Nkandla police station. 

In a tweet following the apex court's judgment on Tuesday, she said she had spoken to her father and that he was in high spirits and had "no fear". 

"We have a choice between serving our time in Joburg or Nkandla. Of course we (sic) have chosen to be close to home. Lockdown or no lockdown, we will escort you to serve your time," she tweeted.

LIVE | Zuma found guilty of contempt of court, sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by ConCourt

Zuma's spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, told eNCA's Annika Larsen that he imagined Zuma was "shocked".

"If you have judges that are saying this judgment is unconstitutional, what do you expect should be the attitude of [former] president Zuma?" he asked.

Acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe ruled on Tuesday morning that Zuma was guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months in jail. He has five days to hand himself over to either the Nkandla police station or the Johannesburg Central police station.

Outraged

If he fails to do so, the court ruled, Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sithole have three days to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken to ensure he is jailed.

But Zuma's ardent supporters, led by Carl Niehaus who speaks for the disbanded uMkonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, were outraged by the sentence.

READ | Zuma found guilty of contempt of court, sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by ConCourt

Niehaus said: "We now call on all peace-loving and democratic South Africans to register their fundamental opposition within the confines of the law, using our democratic rights in terms of the Constitution, to the sentence and to [prevent former] president Jacob Zuma from being in prison."

Niehaus said this was also the position of the MKMVA. He told News24 that MKMVA members were already stationed outside Nkandla.

"You can be sure that there will be many more in the next few hours. They will mostly be from KwaZulu-Natal, but I can't say that they will only come from there," he said.

Meanwhile, opposition parties welcomed the judgment.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the judgment was one of the most important in the history of the country.

He said:

It confirms no one can stand above the law, not even a former president who still enjoys strong support in the ruling party. This is a major day for the DA and the country. For 12 years we have pursued this case against Zuma relentlessly. We have done so without media and the country's support. We did [it] because we knew it is the right thing to do.

Good secretary-general Brett Herron also welcomed the judgement, but said it should not be celebrated.

"It is a sad day for our constitutional democracy that a citizen of this country who had the privilege to serve as its president, the highest office of this land, and who swore allegiance to its Constitution, scandalised our courts and defied a court order to such an extent that the Constitutional Court was forced to undertake an 'impossible task' of sitting in judgment of his conduct," he said.

Herron also said the court asserted the supremacy of the law over powerful individuals, sending a resounding message that the country's Constitution and its laws could not be undermined by scandalous attacks or courting of public support.

"The majority judgment saved South Africa from a Constitutional crisis by holding [former] president Zuma in contempt.  The minority judgment did not exonerate [former] president Zuma and agreed that a sentence of imprisonment was warranted - differing only in the execution of the sentence," he said.

Action SA leader Herman Mashaba said it was now clear for all to see that Zuma's attempts to ignore, undermine and destroy the rule of law will would not be tolerated. 

"In handing down the judgment, Acting Deputy Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe, emphasised that Zuma's attempts to evoke public sympathy through unfounded allegations fly in the face of reason and are an insult to the constitutional dispensation for which so many men and women fought for and lost their lives," he said.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said the judgement showed the world that South Africa’s constitutional democracy was strong.

He said:

At the end of the day, justice was served.


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