Date: Jun 29, 2021 Type: Country:

South Africa: Constitutional Court ruling against Zuma demonstrates that no one is above the law

The historic judgment by the Constitutional Court against former president Jacob Zuma for defying the state capture commission of inquiry demonstrates that no one is above the law, Amnesty International South Africa said today. The organization has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s majority judgment, which found former President Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt and sentenced him to 15 months in prison.  

Justice Sisi Khampepe handed down the judgment and the sentence on Tuesday morning

“The judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court in the contempt of court matter is an important development for the rule of law. It is a reminder that no one is above the law, no matter who they are or their social or political status.” said Amnesty International South Africa Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed. 

“When he took the oath of office, twice as the president of South Africa, Zuma swore to uphold the law. But he did not live up to his promise to respect the law.

“Respect for the rule of law is essential for the promotion and protection of human rights,” said Mohamed.

Background

An application for contempt of court was brought against former president Jacob Zuma by the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, after the former president refused to appear before it and answer questions in front of its chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo related to allegation of “state capture”, corruption and abuse of office during his presidency. 

This was after the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in the land, ordered that he appear before the commission. 

The Court on 29 June 2021, found Zuma guilty of contempt of court and ordered that he be imprisoned for 15 months. 

The former president has five calendar days to hand himself over to police. If he fails to do this, the minister of police and the national police commissioner have three calendar days to ensure that Zuma is delivered to a correctional services centre.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Amnesty International South Africa’s Media and Communications Officer Genevieve Quintal on +27 64 890 9224 or email genevieve.quintal@amnesty.org.za