Former President, Jacob Zuma has pleaded to the Constitutional Court to reconsider its ruling of finding him guilty for contempt of court while having to serve 15 months in prison.
This is what Zuma stated in court papers as reported by News24: “I am advised that before I walk through the prison gates to serve my sentence as the first direct prisoner of the Constitutional Court under our constitutional democracy, it will not be futile to make one last attempt to invite the Constitutional Court to relook [at] its decision and to merely reassess whether it has acted within the Constitution or, erroneously, beyond the powers vested in the court by the Constitution.”
He further mentioned that because of his “unstable state of health… [and his] physical life that the incarceration order threatens” he is “entitled” to have the Constitution Court re-examine its ruling, News24 adds.
“It is [the] right to life itself which may be stake,” Zuma says. “It is therefore no exaggeration to label mine and as cruel and degrading punishment”.
Justice Sisi Khampepe explained that Zuma had been afforded numerous opportunities to not only defend his behaviour, but to also explain his conduct and argue for a less severe form of sanction than imprisonment. Instead, as Khampepe maintains, Zuma reportedly “squandered” the Constitutional Court, and compared the way he was treated to the apartheid government’s persecution of PAC leader Robert Sobukwe. In addition, he claimed that there were certain judges who were on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s payroll.
“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.
“Not only is Mr Zuma’s behaviour so outlandish as to warrant a disposal of ordinary procedure, but it is becoming increasingly evident that the damage being caused by his ongoing assaults on the integrity of the judicial process cannot be cured by an order down the line. It must be stopped now,” Khampepe said.