Zuma asks ConCourt to 'reconsider' his 15-month jail sentence

Jacob Zuma has filed the papers to the apex court on Friday ahead of Sunday’s deadline to hand himself over to a police station in Nkandla or Johannesburg where he has homes.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN/JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma has asked the Constitutional Court to “reconsider” its 15-month sentence against him, citing health concerns among other reasons.

Zuma has filed the papers to the apex court on Friday ahead of Sunday’s deadline to hand himself over to a police station in Nkandla or Johannesburg where he has homes.

He’s been found guilty of being in contempt of a court ruling that he must appear and participate at the state capture commission.

In a 34-page affidavit, Zuma asks the country’s apex court to “reassess whether it has acted within the Constitution, or erroneously, beyond the powers vested in the court by the Constitution.”

In strongly worded court papers, he tells the country’s most senior judges that he does seek any sympathy from them but asks that they assess his rescission application “with a sense of fairness and impartiality”.

Zuma details to the court that he is a 79-year-old man who suffers from a medical condition that requires constant and intense therapy and attention.

He said if the court agreed to entertain his application, his medical condition should be considered as one of the reasons why he should not be imprisoned, especially in the current context of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

In a scathing judgement against Zuma this week, the Constitutional Court noted that he had been given ample opportunity to cooperate with the court but failed to do so.

Jacob Zuma Affidavit by Sheldon Morais on Scribd

ZUMA SUPPORTERS IGNORING LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS

The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has condemned the flagrant disregard of COVID-19 regulations by the aggrieved supporters of Zuma.

Since Friday, scores of Zuma's supporters have been staging protests in various parts of the province against a judgement, which has sentenced the former president to a 15-month jail term.

Zuma's supporters - including his son Edward - have publicly stated that they view the Constitutional Court judgement as a declaration of war.

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Scores of Zuma’s supporters in KwaZulu-Natal have vowed to defend him with their bodies, saying police would have to kill them first before arresting him.

The province’s ANC spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela has cautioned Zuma’s supporters against ignoring COVID-19 regulations.

“We did not go to level 4 for no reason, the coronavirus is serious and it’s taking our people big time. The ANC has been constituent in saying let us ensure that in all that we do, mostly as the ruling party, that we’re not seen to be the ones violating the law.”

Ntombela has referred to ongoing tensions as unfortunate, saying they could have been prevented if Zuma had cooperated with the state capture commission.

He said they had been informed by Luthuli House that national executive committee members would be joining their urgent meeting to devise a response strategy to possible unrest by the former president’s supporters.

ZUMA’S RIGHTS 'VIOLATED'

The ANC's Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) said this week’ Constitutional Court judgment had fundamentally violated Zuma’s rights.

The association’s spokesperson Carl Niehaus - who’s been deployed to Zuma’s Nkandla home - said they would form a human shield around the former leader.

He told journalists on Friday that they wouldn’t allow for the former leader to hand himself over to the police or for him to be taken into custody.

Niehaus said Zuma had been targeted for the past 20 years, warning that if Zuma’s arrest went ahead then violence would be inevitable.

“The manner in which he’s been dragged in front of the courts for the last 20 years, if that continues, and especially in the last few months, we’ve warned that if President Zuma is going to be imprisoned, there will be instability and unrest in South Africa.”

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