Zuma’s falsehoods and attacks on court shouldn’t go on unpunished, ConCourt told

Judgement has been reserved in the state capture commission’s contempt of court application against former President Jacob Zuma.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the inquiry into state capture on 17 November 2020. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Judgement has been reserved in the state capture commission’s contempt of court application against former President Jacob Zuma.

The matter was before the Constitutional Court earlier on Thursday.

Commission lawyer, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, argued that Zuma’s falsehoods and attacks on the court shouldn’t go on unpunished.

The Constitutional Court asked Advocate Ngcukaitobi if Zuma’s pending review of his application could be used as his defence for not appearing at the Zondo Commission.

READ: Zuma’s conduct threatening constitutional order, Ngcukaitobi tells ConCourt

"The fact that at some stage you may win a case doesn’t suspend your duty to comply with a court order, it has no impact on the contempt. He is still in contempt, even if he won 100 times."

The court then asked if sending the former president to jail would not be counterproductive as the commission wanted him to testify.

"Basically he’s using the language of daring the court, 'I'm not afraid to go to prison'. Even prior to coming to the court in December 2020, the commission had tried to use its coercive powers. I know that there is criticism in the judgement but he was given a leeway that would not ordinarily be given to ordinary witnesses. But the fact is the coercive powers were tried, they didn’t work. The is no scope for coercive powers, the only scope that remains now is imprisonment."

And if the court wouldn’t be infringing on his freedom of speech.

"Utterances that Mr Zuma has made are malicious utterances. He is also acting without any facts, Mr Zuma completely disregards the evidence.”

The court has reserved judgement but Ngcukaitobi said it should not delay because Zuma’s conduct threatened constitutional order

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