Zuma: No honest person can accuse me of being an enemy of rule of law 

Written By: Kalden Ongmu WION
Johannesburg  Updated: Jul 05, 2021, 01:16 PM(IST)

Former President Jacob Zuma (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Last week, the apex court sentenced Former South Africa president Jacob Zuma to 15-month imprisonment after he was found guilty of contempt of court for failing to appear before the Zondo Commission

Former president Jacob Zuma addressed countrymen on Sunday evening from his Nkandla home on matters related to the Constitutional Court judgment against him. 

“No honest person can accuse me of being an enemy of the rule of law, consistent with this point, I am pursuing peaceful and constitutional methods to deal with this situation by approaching the courts, again," Zuma said adding, “All I am asking is fairness and consistency.” 

The former President said he is not asking for sympathy but justice. 

Zuma added, “I acknowledge and appreciate the Constitutional Court for its recent announcement where it indicated on the 12th of July, it will give me audience.” 

Last week, the apex court sentenced Zuma to 15-month imprisonment after he was found guilty of contempt of court for failing to appear before the Zondo Commission.  

On Friday, Zuma and his legal team filed an urgent application to the Constitutional Court to rescind and reconsider its decision and take into account his unstable health and Constitutional Court agreed to hear Zuma’s rescission application.  

The former President was supposed to hand himself over to the police on Sunday before midnight.  

In his address on Sunday evening, the former President reiterated, "Contrary to the mainstream narrative and propaganda against me, I've never refused not to appear before the State Capture Commission." He said if Zondo had recused himself and allowed Zuma's submission to 'be made to somebody neutral' the nation would have heard Zuma's version on 'all the unsubstantiated allegations against me’. 

“My age and health condition and any other mitigating circumstances were not considered when the imprisonment was decided,” he said.  

“Even murderers, serial killers, bank robbers and child molesters are granted an opportunity to give mitigation after conviction but before sentencing. In my case, a strange procedure was adopted by asking me for mitigation before I was found guilty of any crime,” he said, in his address.  

"Sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic at my age is the same as sentencing me to death," Zuma said.  

Zuma's legal team is expected to argue in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday that his sentence must be stayed pending the outcome of his rescission application. 

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