The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment in former President Jacob Zuma’s bid to have his prison sentence rescinded.
He’s served five days of a 15-month sentence so far for contempt of court for snubbing the state capture commission after being ordered to give evidence by the court.
The arrest of an octogenarian is not in the best interest of justice. This was among the arguments offered by Zuma’s legal team and others who support the former leader.
Advocate Vuyani Ngalwana, who joined the case as a friend of the court in support of Zuma, has argued the court’s majority decision was just about sending a clear message to the public.
“This court must do that which it considers to be in the interest of justice. Is it in the interest of justice for this court to punish an octogenarian for having snubbed it?” he asked.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, representing the state capture commission, said Zuma deliberately ignored the court.
He added that Zuma left the court no choice and the decision to go to jail was completely his.
“When I began my submissions, I started by reminding everyone that Mr Zuma has always held the keys to his own prison door, which he could use by the simple act of tendering to comply not on his terms, but on the terms that have been prescribed by this court,” the advocate said.
The ex-president’s legal representative Advocate Dali Mpofu has argued the constitution rules supreme, even over the apex court. – Eyewitness