by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CRITICS believe the sentencing of former President Jacob Zuma, for contempt of court, signifies the strength of the rule of law and democracy in South Africa.
The Constitutional Court on Tuesday sentenced him to 15 months in prison for his defiance of the court’s orders to appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry probing the so-called capture of the state.
“Today’s judgement is a victory for the rule of law in South Africa,” said Herman Mashaba, the opposition leader and former mayor of Johannesburg.
“It is clear for all to see that Zuma’s attempts to ignore, undermine and destroy the rule of law will not be tolerated in our democratic society,” Mashaba added.
Richard Calland, the constitutional law professor and political commentator, described the sentencing as a “sad but proud moment for South Africa’s democracy.”
“No-one should take pleasure in the sight of a former president going to jail. But the strength of the rule of law and the independence of court is something wonderful to behold,” Calland said.
He is the author of “The Zuma Years.”
The Constitutional Court has ordered Zuma to submit himself to the police in his rural Nkanda home or Johannesburg within five days of the ruling.
Dudu Zuma-Sambudla, the former president’s daughter, said she had spoken to her father after the judgement and he is “in high spirits and has no fear.”
– CAJ News