Amnesty International SA calls for calm following Zuma’s incarceration

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Amnesty International South Africa (AISA) calls for calm and restraint after  former president Jacob Zuma’s incarceration at the Estcourt Correctional Services Facility in KwaZulu-Natal.

Last week, the Constitutional Court found Zuma guilty of contempt of court – sentencing him to 15 months in jail.

Zuma’s incarceration has sent shockwaves through Zimbabwe:

Zuma will be eligible for parole after serving three months and three weeks of his sentence.

His supporters, who have been vowing to protect him against arrest, gathered outside the correctional centre where is being held on Thursday afternoon.

One of them, Carl Niehaus, was arrested for violating lockdown rules.

AISA’s Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed says: “Due process must be allowed to take its course and the Constitution, and the law upheld. Former president Zuma handing himself over goes a long way, in showing that no one is above the law in South Africa.”

Mohamed calls on parties involved to show restraint and remain calm.

“Respect for the rule of law is essential for the promotion and protection of human rights and must be upheld without fear or favour. We call on all parties involved to show restraint and remain calm during this time,” says Mohamed.

Meanwhile,  Zuma will on Friday learn the decision of the Pietermaritzburg High Court on his application for a stay of his arrest.

This is despite him already being behind bars at the Escourt Correctional Services Facility. Zuma’s efforts through the high court has so far proved unsuccessful with him being taken into custody on Wednesday night.

Earlier this week, Zuma’s lawyer advocate Dali Mpofu argued that the Pietermaritzburg High Court does have jurisdiction- in common law- to grant an interdict to stay the former president’s arrest. But advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, for the State Capture Commission, described Zuma as a defiant litigant and repetitive law breaker. – Additional reporting by Nonkululeko Hlope.

Zuma’s legal action following his arrest: