HSF: Zuma arrest has boosted public confidence in state's ability to uphold law

Legal researcher at the Helen Suzman Foundation, Christopher Fisher, said that the government did its job in terms of carrying out the order of the Constitutional Court.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma in the Pietermaritzburg High Court where he appeared on corruption charges on 15 October 2019. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Public confidence in the state’s ability to uphold the rule of law will be boosted following former President Jacob Zuma’s arrest and incarceration.

That’s the view of the Helen Suzman Foundation.

The foundation was involved in both of Zuma’s last-ditch legal efforts to stay out of jail and will be in the Constitutional Court when his rescission application is heard on Monday.

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Legal researcher at the Helen Suzman Foundation, Christopher Fisher, said that the government did its job in terms of carrying out the order of the Constitutional Court.

“I think the implications will be that the public will look upon the state now as the protectors of the rule of law. The arrest of Zuma was probably the biggest challenge to the rule of law that we have had in our young democracy, so I think the implications for the body political are going to be quite fundamental in terms of a renewal of respect for the rule of law.”

Fisher said there was a lot of uncertainty in the process of getting Zuma to jail, given the unprecedented nature of the event, but that the foundation never doubted the rule of law would hold.

"It was an orderly handover of a very powerful politician to the hands of law enforcement when he clearly did not want to go and I think that can only be a good thing. We should rally around this moment as a positive sign for the rule of law in South Africa.”

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