Judgment in Zuma's bid for stay of sentence reserved until Friday

Jacob Zuma approached the court following a scathing apex court judgment that found him guilty of being in a contempt of a ruling that said he must appear and participate at the state capture commission.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appears at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 23 June 2020. Picture: AFP.

PIETERMARITZBURG - Judgement in former President Jacob Zuma's application to stay his 15-month jail sentence before the Pietermaritzburg High Court has been reserved until Friday.

Zuma approached the court following a scathing apex court judgment that found him guilty of being in a contempt of a ruling that said he must appear and participate at the state capture commission.

His lawyer Dali Mpofu has argued before Judge Bhekisisa Mnguni, saying that it would be unfair for Zuma to commence his prison sentence pending the outcome of his rescission application.

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It's been six hours of legal wrangling between Zuma's lawyer, Mpofu, and counsel for the state capture commission and the Helen Suzman Foundation.

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Max du Plessis have opposed Zuma's bid to stay out of jail via the Pietermaritzburg High Court, saying that it was not the appropriate institution to make that determination.

However, Mpofu has argued that the High Court could stay Zuma's arrest and imprisonment through Section 172 (1) (b) of the Constitution, which deals with the powers of the courts on constitutional matters.

"Opposition that is based purely on vindictiveness and the desire to see Mr Zuma punished tomorrow is at the very least inappropriate," Mpofu argued.

Arguing on behalf of the commission, Ngcukaitobi said that Zuma that knew he could approach the Constitutional Court on this issue but chose not to do so.

He said that Zuma's rescission application did not automatically stay his sentence and police had to ensure that the former president was in orange overalls by the end of Wednesday as per last week's court ruling.

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