Police must put Zuma in orange overalls by end of Wednesday - Ngcukaitobi
The state capture commission’s lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said a letter seeking clarity by Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is nonsensical.
PIETERMARITZBURG - The Pietermaritzburg High Court has been told that police have a duty to ensure that former President Jacob Zuma is in orange overalls by end of Wednesday.
Zuma was found guilty of being in contempt of the Constitutional Court last week and he was sentenced to 15 months behind bars.
He has since asked the justices of the apex court to reconsider their ruling through a rescission application, but this does not automatically stay his arrest.
Zuma has also turned to the High Court as he tries to stay out of prison.
The former president has asked the Pietermaritzburg High Court to freeze his arrest warrant and jail term pending the outcome of his rescission application in the Constitutional Courts.
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The state capture commission has opposed Zuma’s legal bid in the High Court, saying it did not have the power to overturn a committal by the Constitutional Court.
The commission’s lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said: “Since Sunday, Zuma has been in an ongoing breach of the present order, let alone the order for which he was already convicted of. But he has been in breach of the present order."
Ngcukaitobi, who referred to Zuma as recalcitrant and deliberately defiant, said a letter seeking clarity by Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was nonsensical.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court has been told that it was not the appropriate institution to suspend Zuma’s prison sentence.
Counsel for the Helen Suzman Foundation Max du Plessis appeared before Judge Bhekisisa Mnguni on Tuesday and argued that Zuma should have approached the Constitutional Court on the matter - as it sentenced him in the first place.
The foundation was first admitted as a friend of the court in the case brought by the state capture commission to the Constitutional Court after Zuma failed to co-operate with a ruling that said he must appear and testify before it.
Du Plessis said the Pietermaritzburg High Court could overturn an arrest warrant issued by the Constitutional Court.
“The request is that My Lord will interdict and order of the Constitutional Court; if Zuma wants to undo the Constitutional Court order, then he must go to that court and he knows it that’s why he issued the rescission application in that court.”
Zuma’s lawyer Dali Mpofu has insisted the High Court has the jurisdiction to hear Zuma’s application.
He told the court that Section 172 (1) (b) of the Constitution, which deals with powers of the courts on constitutional matters, enabled the High Court to freeze Zuma’s sentence pending the conclusion of his rescission application.
The court has reserved judgment till Friday.