Not in interests of justice to rescind Zuma contempt order - ConCourt
Delivering the ruling, Justice Sisi Khampepe explained that if the doctrine of exceptionality is relaxed under the circumstances, this would damage the integrity of the court.
JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court found that it was not in the interests of justice to rescind its contempt order against former President Jacob Zuma.
On Friday, the court dismissed Zuma’s application to have his sentence set aside on the basis that he was not present in court during the proceedings, although he chose not to attend, among other reasons advanced.
The majority judgment of the court found that the court could only reconsider and in the appropriate case, change a final decision that it had already made in “very” exceptional circumstances.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Sisi Khampepe explained that if the doctrine of exceptionality was relaxed under the circumstances, this would damage the integrity of the court and render the finality of its orders laughable in the eyes of the public.
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"To do so [relax the doctrine] would be dismembering the rule of law. Finality and legal certainty are the linchpins of the interests of justice inquiry."
She added that it was by now clear that the only possible inference that could be drawn from Zuma’s conduct, which included his public attacks against the court, his refusal to take part in the proceedings and others, was that the application constituted an effort to backtrack on a failed, deliberate, litigious strategy.