Foundation hopes ConCourt will set aside Jacob Zuma's sentence

The long-awaited judgment on Jacob Zuma’s rescission application, which was filed in July as a last-minute bid to avert the jailing of the former president, will be handed down on Friday morning.

The crowd who gathered to support former President Jacob Zuma is seen reflected in his glasses as he waits to speak after appearing on corruption charges at the Durban High Court on 6 April 2018. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The Jacob Zuma Foundation is hopeful the Constitutional Court will set aside the former president’s 15-month jail sentence.

The foundation has pinned its hopes on the outcome of the rescission application at the Constitutional Court, which is expected to be handed down on Friday.

Zuma’s legal team approached the apex court to have his 15-month prison term for contempt of court rescinded, arguing that the sentence was an infringement on his right to a fair trial.

The long-awaited judgment on Zuma’s rescission application, which was filed in July as a last-minute bid to avert the jailing of the former president, will be handed down on Friday morning.

Among a host of reasons provided by Zuma’s legal team on the application is that he had been jailed without a trial.

Zuma’s lawyers also argued that a litany of international laws were violated.

“So, we are hoping that they would have reflected on their judgment is a clear indication that they did not apply their minds, in terms of the International Covenant as it were, which is domesticated in South Africa. So we hope that the judgment will make sure that Constitution supremacy is affirmed,” said the Jacob Zuma Foundation’s Mzwanele Manyi.

Zuma was sent to jail by the Constitutional Court after he refused to appear at the state capture commission of inquiry.

Zuma refused to return to the commission early this year after he was issued with summons to give evidence and answer questions as he claimed the inquiry was biased against him and sought to pin the fraud and corruption in the state on him.

He served only two months of his sentence before being granted medical parole this month for an undisclosed illness,.

Although the former president has been granted medical parole – with his foundation refusing to disclose when or if he has been released from prison – the order remains critical.

Zuma’s prison sentence is not moot as three organisations have taken to the courts seeking to set aside his parole.

The Democratic Alliance, the Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum launched applications seeking answers from Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser.

After the Constitutional Court handed down its sentence, he filed an urgent application in July, calling on the court to revise its decision to have him incarcerated, arguing that the ruling was granted in his absence and that the court must assess whether it acted within the bounds of the Constitution.

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