PMB High Court had no jurisdiction over Zuma bid to suspend arrest, says judge

The High Court dismissed the application on Friday., with Judge Jerome Mnguni deciding that the Constitutional Court was the appropriate authority to hear the application.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Pietermaritzburg High Court has ruled that it had no jurisdiction over former President Jacob Zuma’s application to suspend the execution of his arrest.

Zuma was seeking interim relief to stay out of jail until the Constitutional Court has delivered its judgment on his request to have his sentencing ruling rescinded.

The High Court dismissed the application on Friday.

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Judge Jerome Mnguni expressed no view regarding the prospects of the rescission matter despite being presented with arguments regarding the merits of the application that would be heard in the Constitutional Court on Monday.

What he did, however, decide on was that the Constitutional Court was the appropriate authority to hear the application.

He said that had he acceded to the arguments advanced by Zuma’s lawyers, who said that the High Court had jurisdiction, then the superiority of the apex court would have been undermined.

He said that there would be no finality to legal decisions either.

Advocate Dali Mpofu for Zuma submitted to the court that the circumstances of the case were extraordinary and exceptional in many aspects, including that Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison without the court resorting to the Criminal Procedure Act, meaning that Zuma did not stand trial.

Mnguni also stated that the Constitutional Court had the power to suspend its own orders.

The application was dismissed with costs.

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

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