Former President Jacob Zuma has said he isn’t afraid of arrest after refusing to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, despite a Constitutional Court order.
“I do not fear being convicted nor do I fear being incarcerated,” he said in a statement, according to eNCA.
On January, 28 the Constitutional Court ordered that Zuma must appear before the commission and answer their questions, which he has been refusing to do since the beginning.
The Commission was set up to investigate the allegations and scope of state capture, which was revealed in the Gupta email leaks in 2017. As of December 2020, the commission had interviewed 278 witnesses.
As part of his response to the ConCourt ruling, Zuma insists he is being unfairly treated by the judiciary.
“Recently the commission ran to the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis to get the Constitutional Court to compel me to attend at the commission and to compel me to give answers at the commission, effectively undermining a litany of my constitutional rights including the right to the presumption of innocence,” he said.
He explained that his issue is not appearing in front of the Commission entirely but rather being posed questions by Deputy Chief Justice Zondo as a result of a bias and personal relationship between the two.
In explaining his victimhood, Zuma compared himself to Robert Sobukwe, the PAC activist who was imprisoned in solitary confinement on Robben Island during Apartheid. Sobukwe’s special hearing was clearly aimed at convicting and dealing with him.
“The recent decision of the Constitutional Court also mimics the posture of the commission in that it has now also created a special and different set of circumstances specifically designed to deal with Zuma by suspending my Constitutional rights rendering me completely defenseless against the commission,” his statement read.
“This conjures up memories of how the apartheid government passed the General Laws Amendment Act 37 in 1963 which introduced a new clause of indefinite detention specifically intended to be used against then PAC leader, Robert Sobukwe.”
As a result, Zuma has said he will risk imprisonment.
“I am again prepared to go to prison to defend the constitutional rights that I personally fought for and to serve whatever sentence that this democratically elected government deems appropriate as part of the special and different laws for Zuma agenda,” he said.
Picture: Wikimedia Commons.