Ramaphosa and ANC must condemn Zuma’s attack on judiciary
15 April 2021
The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn former President Jacob Zuma’s latest attack on the integrity of the judiciary in a letter sent to the Chief Justice yesterday. Zuma is playing a dangerous game by undermining the highest court in our land and the failure of President Ramaphosa and the ANC to condemn their former leader’s actions is tantamount to an implied approval of his latest attack on the judiciary.
Last week, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng provided the former president with an opportunity to file an affidavit to outline what Zuma believed would be an appropriate sentence should he be found guilty of contempt of court. Given that Zuma has chosen to not participate in any of the court proceedings since their inception, this opportunity was a generous courtesy offered by the Constitutional Court not typically offered to an ordinary accused.
Instead of accepting this offer, Zuma chose to reply with a letter rather than an affidavit claiming that he did not wish to validate the “sham” of the court proceedings and that the Court was determined to send him to prison.
Zuma has evaded justice for far too long. It is disgraceful that the ANC have not only encouraged this type of behaviour but have failed to condemn Zuma’s latest attack on the judiciary. It is even more shocking that Ramaphosa was heard telling Zuma, in a leaked ANC top 6 video, that he views him as “my leader and as my elder in the ANC”. As President of the country, Ramaphosa in particular, needs to step up and condemn these attacks on the judiciary. Even if the ANC remains silent, he, as the leader of the country, should speak up when someone as prominent as a former president undermines the judiciary.
Zuma further criticised the lawfulness of the State Capture Commission, reasserted his claims of judicial bias and arrogantly challenged the Court to imprison him. He also lied in claiming that he had only been offered 3 days to respond, when he was in fact given 5 days to file an affidavit he had no legal right to make in the first place.
It is time our president found a better, more ethical leader than Zuma. The DA calls on President Ramaphosa to condemn Zuma’s blatant attack on the judiciary. Any failure to censure the former ANC president should be viewed as tacit approval of Zuma’s disgraceful actions.
Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, 15 April 2021