South Africa Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced that the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture will make an application to the Constitutional Court to seek an order that former President Jacob Zuma be imprisoned if found guilty of contempt of court.
Zuma Monday failed to appear before the commission and hence in his verdict, DCJ Raymond Zondo said ” The Commission will make an application to the Constitutional Court which made the order that Zuma has defied and seek an order that he is found guilty of contempt, if ConCourt reaches that conclusion, it is in its discretion on what to do, one of the things it can do is impose a term of imprisonment on Zuma, another would be to impose a fine, the commission will approach the ConCourt and ask it to impose a term of imprisonment if he is found guilty.”
DCJ Zondo further said, “Mr. Zuma will be given a full opportunity to oppose the application if he wishes to and place it on the ConCourt, it will decide”
The commission said it viewed the former President’s conduct in a very serious light, particularly because it is a repeated conduct, adding that he had no valid or sound reason for not appearing before the commission Monday.
Zuma’s lawyers sent a two-page letter to the commission at the 11th hour, which Zondo and the commission’s head of legal Paul Pretorius said lacked all substance in law. Pretorius said the summons served on Zuma could only be set aside by a court and that he could not choose whether to appear or not.