Zuma rescission application doesn't automatically stay jail sentence, court told

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said that Jacob Zuma’s failure to abide by an apex court judgement should be a strong enough grounds for the High Court to dismiss his application.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma addresses his supporters following the postponement of his corruption trial outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

PIETERMARITZBURG - The lawyer representing the state capture commission in the case involving former President Jacob Zuma in the Pietermaritzburg High Court has called for the case to be dismissed with costs.

Zuma has been applying for a stay of his 15-month prison sentence until the Constitutional Court decides on his rescission application next Monday.

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said that Zuma’s lawyer, Dali Mpofu, had failed to establish how the High Court had the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Ngcukaitobi told Judge Bhekisisa Mnguni that Zuma’s rescission application of a Constitutional Court judgment against him did not automatically stay his prison sentence.

He said that Zuma’s failure to abide by an apex court judgment should be a strong enough grounds for the High Court to dismiss his application.

Ngcukaitobi said that Zuma was given until Sunday to present himself to the police to commence his prison sentence and the former president was currently flouting the law.

"Since Sunday, Mr Zuma has been in an ongoing breach of the present order, let alone the order for which he was already convicted."

Zuma’s lawyer, Mpofu, said that calls for the court to dismiss Zuma’s application were unfair.

"What your Lordship is being asked to do is that for all that period between now and the hearing, between the hearing and the judgment, the applicant must be sitting in jail without ever having sat in any trial."

Ngcukaitobi also said that police were duty-bound to arrest Zuma by the end of Wednesday.

He referred to a clarity-seeking letter to Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo by Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole as nonsensical.

In the letter, Cele and Sitole cite Zuma’s rescission application before the apex court and call on Zondo to provide them with a way forward.

Ngcukaitobi said that this was unnecessary.

"There is no clarity required from the Constitutional Court. The order is manifest, all that needs to be done is for the order to be enforced unless the police themselves obtain an order stopping themselves from executing."

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