The commission charged with investigating state corruption and headed by Raymond Zondo, filed an urgent appeal with the Constitutional Court on Monday, February 22, 2021 for the former South African head of state, Jacob Zuma, to be sentenced for illegal refusal to appear. The commission requires two years in prison for refusing to testify in a case where more than forty people, including ministers or former ministers, elected officials, businessmen or senior officials, have already been heard.
The former South African head of state, Jacob Zuma, is at great risk by stubbornly refusing to respond to the commission charged with investigating corruption during its presidency from 2009 to 2018. Its last convocation is dated Monday, February 15, 2021. Jacob Zuma had once again decided not to appear before the anti-corruption commission on the grounds that he is treated as an accused and not as a witness and on the grounds that Judge Raymond Zongo, head of the said commission, poured into “political propaganda.” He even took the opportunity to accuse some judges of being “lawless.”
Raymond Zondo filed an appeal with the highest court in the country to have Jacob Zuma sent to prison for having “intentionally and illegally” refused to advance the investigation. The former president will not have enough arguments this time because in his decision rendered in January 2021, the Constitutional Court had forced him to go and appear, thus depriving him of the right to remain silent.
It is now up to this court to confirm the offence of “contempt of justice” and if this is the case, Jacob Zuma will inevitably be imprisoned. Indeed, the 78-year-old former South African head of state only responded once to the anti-corruption commission, and that was in July 2019.
The current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has made the fight against corruption one of his top priorities, has not appreciated Zuma’s accusations against the judges. He believes that his words could be used against him at his trial.