Judge explains why Zuma's bid to stay arrest collapsed 'like a deck of cards'

Jacob Zuma’s lawyers made a two-part application to the court seeking to stay the execution of his arrest until the Constitutional Court concluded his rescission matter and to interdict the police from effecting the arrest. Both applications were dismissed with costs against Zuma.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Judge Jerome Mnguni of the Pietermaritzburg High Court said that he could not determine the nature of the irreparable harm that Jacob Zuma would have suffered by being sent to jail, which was among the reasons the former president’s application was dismissed.

Zuma’s lawyers made a two-part application to the court seeking to stay the execution of his arrest until the Constitutional Court concluded his rescission matter and to interdict the police from effecting the arrest.

However, both applications were dismissed, with the court also issuing a costs order against Zuma.

Judge Mnguni wrote in the judgment that Zuma’s case collapsed “like a deck of cards” as he invoked an incorrect and unprecedented procedure.

The court ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the matter, with Mnguni explaining that there was no higher authority in the country than the Constitutional Court and that its decisions could not be undermined by a lower court.

Mnguni contended that the application sought to entangle the court in judicial adventurism and to make "whimsical orders which have the effect of granting unlawful and unwarranted relief".

He also stated that Zuma had an alternative remedy available to him, which was to apply directly to the Constitutional Court, which provided for urgent applications.

Among other reasons, Zuma had argued that he should not be sent to prison as he had concerns about his health. However, the court said that there was no evidence to support this.

WATCH: Former President Jacob Zuma’s stay of arrest bid denied with costs

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