Political analyst Prof Omphemetse Sibanda says Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s request for former president Jacob Zuma to provide the Constitutional Court with evidence on what sanction would be appropriate for him if he were found guilty of contempt of court is legally strategic.
Prof Sibanda Professor of Law at the Faculty of Management and Law at the University of Limpopo shares more:
Mogoeng directed Zuma to file an affidavit detailing the sanction by Wednesday this week.
Earlier this year, Zuma defied summons ordering him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Zuma cited the commission’s chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s bias against him.
The former president had previously demanded that Zondo recuse himself from the commission when he appeared. However, Zondo refused and the commission approached the Constitutional Court to request it to compel Zuma to appear before the commission.
Sibanda says the Chief Justice has the right to make such a request but adds that in the case of Zuma, he has done so for a reason.
“Given the temperature around the country, also the possible constitutional crisis that could present, he might have thought, let’s see if we say to the former president, tell us what you think about this, and then we can engage him and he can tell us why he defied the order. Because he’s not going to just say I need a suspended sentence. He will then have to explain, why a suspended sentence or why no sentence at all?” says Sibanda.
Reaction to Zondo’s application to get Zuma arrested: