Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Monday accused state capture inquiry chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo of abusing his position, saying he wants to have the former president jailed by “hook or crook”.

Zuma himself has since said he is not afraid of going to jail.

The statement from the foundation, which often offers Zuma’s views on various political and legal issues, follows the former president’s defiance of a Constitutional Court ruling compelling him to appear before the commission. Zondo, in response, called on the Constitutional Court to impose a two-year jail term on the former president for the violation.

The deputy chief justice said this was to send a strong message and ensure that no-one copied Zuma’s antics.

“The commission will make an application to the Constitutional Court and seek an order that Mr Zuma is guilty of contempt of court, and if the Constitutional Court reaches that conclusion then it is in its discretion what to do,” said Zondo then, upsetting the foundation.

The foundation on Monday called the move “desperate and inconsistent with the commission’s rules”.

“This desperation of the deputy chief justice, abusing his position as the second in charge in the Constitutional Court, instructing his subordinates to bend the laws of this country, is unprecedented,” it said.

“He [Zondo] ignores process and jurisdiction as prescribed in law, just to ensure that the Zuma state capture commission of inquiry finds president Zuma guilty by hook or crook to deliver him to some hidden masters,” it also said.

The foundation said the 1947 [Commissions] Act talks about six months’ imprisonment or £55 fine, not the two years’ imprisonment.

However, the matter in the Constitutional Court now is not in relation to the charges laid against Zuma in terms of the Commissions Act. The commission’s application is for contempt of court after Zuma defied its order to face the commission.

It again compared Zuma’s troubles with those of anti-apartheid struggle icon Robert Sobukwe.

“It is clear the laws are being changed to deal with president Zuma, like how the apartheid government created Sobukwe laws to deal with Sobukwe. Indeed, it sounds like an old apartheid regime in the hands of the black leaders in the democratic SA.”  

The foundation also slammed the commission for rejecting “reasonable” proposals Zuma had made before his defiance of the Constitutional Court ruling.

“The Jacob G Zuma Foundation has noted that in paragraph 81 of its affidavit, the commission surreptitiously asks for an order that was openly offered by president Zuma’s legal counsel and rejected by the commission.

“While seeking to appear to maintain its hard unreasonable stance, the commission pretends this is its original remedy, when everybody knows it is an offer they rejected, as they did with all the responsible proposals.

“We find this insincerity disturbing at this level and not befitting a legal process of this magnitude.

“Once again, we remind the commission that it rejected this offer. We hope in its selective presentation of facts to the Constitutional Court, it will be bold enough to admit this fact.”

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