Former President Jacob Zuma says the law is soft on criminals. Zuma says the country’s laws went from extremely oppressive during apartheid to being extremely cautious to protect the rights of the accused and this is why he says social cohesion is not possible in South Africa.
Speaking during ANC’s virtually held Umrabulo Roundtable under the theme – Social Cohesion and National Question, on Sunday night, Zuma said Parliament contributes to the lack of social cohesion and nation-building in the country.
The discussion formed part of a series of dialogues the governing party is holding on its policy documents ahead of its national general council meeting.
Zuma had been on the receiving end of heckling and disruptions in parliament mainly from the EFF during the last years of his Presidency. He said many citizens do not understand the antagonistic style used by political parties.
“Parliament as a very open and public institution is not helping to this debate that we are talking about [….] it’s not in a sense contributing to the nation-building.”
In the video below, Zuma lambastes Parliament for failing to promote social cohesion:
‘Rather go to jail than testify’
Last week, Zuma informed the State Capture Commission that he would rather go to jail than testify before it. He was supposed to appear before the Commission last week, but instead, he sent a letter to the Commission through his lawyers that he would not appear before it.
In a 12 page scathing letter released on social media, he stated that there is nothing that will make him change his mind about the State Capture Commission.
He, however, insisted that he respects the rule of law in the country, but he will never appear before a process that he describes as impartial.
— Dudu Zuma-Sambudla (@DZumaSambudla) February 15, 2021
Contempt of court
In response to Zuma’s letter, the Commission said it will recommend to the Constitutional Court that Zuma be imprisoned or fined for contempt of court for defying an order by the highest court forcing him to appear before the Commission.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said that if Zuma is allowed to ignore his summons to appear there will be lawlessness and chaos in the courts with it being used as a precedent by other witnesses.
In the video below, Zondo says Zuma had no valid or sound reason for not appearing: