Former president Jacob Zuma.

Former president Jacob Zuma.

Thulani Mbele/Gallo Images, Sowetan

  • The DA wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to state whether he and the ANC support former President Jacob Zuma’s attack on the judiciary.
  • After the Constitutional Court heard the Zondo Commission’s application for a jail sentence for Zuma, he released a statement decrying a “judicial dictatorship”.
  • DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said Ramaphosa’s silence could be construed as support for Zuma’s attack on the judiciary and the rule of law.

The DA has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to “clearly and emphatically” state whether he and the ANC support his predecessor Jacob Zuma’s attempts to discredit the judiciary and the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

After the Constitutional Court on Thursday heard the Zondo Commission’s application that the corruption-accused former President should be sentenced to jail time for his consistent defiance of the commission, Zuma released an eight-page statement in the evening.

He complained that judges are biased against him, decried what he called a “judicial dictatorship”, and seemingly threatened violence. On Friday, DA MP and spokesperson on justice Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement that the DA condemns Zuma’s, “… latest attack on the judiciary”.

READ | ConCourt urged to send Zuma to jail now amid Zuma coup threat

“We call on President Cyril Ramaphosa to clearly and emphatically state whether he and his party, the ANC, support Zuma’s attempts to discredit the Judiciary and the Zondo Commission of Inquiry.

“Any further silence from President Ramaphosa could well be construed as support of Zuma’s disregard for the Judiciary and the rule of law,” said Breytenbach.

In his statement, Zuma also indicated that he would not subject himself to, “… an oppressive and unjust court system”.

“This is ridiculous given that he has had numerous opportunities to follow the rule of law by either testifying before the Commission or by participating in yesterday’s court proceedings. He chose not to and instead sought to threaten the credibility of one of the basic pillars on which the Constitution was built,” Breytenbach said.

She said Ramaphosa now has an opportunity to show the nation where he and his party stands.

READ | Zondo commission wants Zuma jailed for failing to appear

“A failure to do so will lead to the ineluctable conclusion that the President and his party do not stand for the rule of law,” said Breytenbach.

When Zuma last month indicated that he would defy Zondo’s summons to appear before the commission, Ramaphosa said he should be given “time and space” to consider his decision. A meeting between Zuma and the ANC top six followed, but he could not be persuaded to cooperate. 

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