‘Zuma’s threat to rule of law requires urgent ConCourt intervention’
Counsel for state capture commission says former president’s refusal to obey order is no ordinary case of contempt
Jacob Zuma’s refusal to appear before it was no ordinary contempt of court, said the state capture commission in papers to the Constitutional Court on Monday. “It is a unique and extreme case of contempt of court, for which there is no meaningful precedent.”
The commission filed its legal argument in its application to the ConCourt to have the former president held in contempt and sentenced to two years in prison. This came after Zuma did not turn up at the inquiry in February, despite a ConCourt order to obey the commission’s summons. He did participate in the hearing before the ConCourt in December and so far has not responded to the contempt application.
In legal argument, counsel for the commission Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC said the two-year sentence was appropriate. “Mr Zuma did not merely fail to obey [Constitutional Court] orders. He gave vent to his defiance by making scurrilous statements about this Court, the Commission and the judiciary generally, and has persisted in his demonstration of disdain for the judicial process in these proceedings.”..