Former President Jacob Zuma’s Spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, says the Constitutional Court did not treat Zuma as it would any other citizen.

He was reacting to the 15-month jail sentence South Africa’s Apex Court handed down to the former President on Tuesday morning.

Zuma had defied a summons to testify at the State Capture Commission. In handing down the judgement, Acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe, said Zuma’s defiance of the Constitutional Court had the potential to plunge the constitutional order into crisis.

“President Zuma was not treated equally like the constitution has promised everyone. Zuma is the only person in SA whose right to appeal has been taken away just like that. It is the first time where you go straight from a motion court and skip trial and incarcerate a person. So we have someone who has been incarcerated without a fair trial. It is very tragic day in SA today,” Manyi says.

More on his views in the video below:

The Zumas say they will be escorting the former President to jail:

Some of the religious leaders, who have been supporting Zuma at his court appearances, are saddened by the developments.

“I’ve been listening to the judgement in tears having to listen to the narration of how the former president and the ANC stalwart will be sent to jail without any option, what is he is going to prison for its a situation where him Jacob Zuma versus the Deputy Judge President? What was wrong with Zuma in saying I cannot continue here because I need somebody who is not biased somebody who is going to judge us fairly he has stipulates that he has got a right to say no this presiding judge is not going to be fair to me that is what is sad about the whole scenario,” asks Bishop Vusi Dube.

UDM’s Bantu Holomisa reacts to the news:

‘Vindicated’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says Zuma’s sentence is a vindication of their long standing efforts to hold him to account.

DA leader, John Steenhuisen, says the party has relentlessly pursued a case against Zuma for 12 years.

He says long before Zuma was public enemy number one, they had warned that he was destroying the country and subverting the constitutional order to enrich his friends and his family.

“For years he was protected and corseted by the ANC. For years they defended him knowing fully well what he was doing to South Africa. We call on Mr Zuma to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies and to hand himself over to begin to serve the sentence,” says the DA leader.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) says the ruling vindicates the Constitutional Court as the ultimate guardian of the Constitution. CASAC’s Executive Secretary – Lawson Naidoo – has described the court’s decision as significant.

“It is really an affirmation of the importance of the rule of law that underpins our constitutional foundation. That nobody is above the law and that the legal system needs to be treated with respect and not with contempt. The judgement read by acting deputy chief justice Khampepe used very strong language throughout and I think it send a very clear message as to how unhappy the court has been with Mr Zuma’s conduct in the face of these charges for contempt of court. There is obviously no where to appeal a decision of the Constitutional Court. And the order of the court is final and binding. Jail time awaits Mr Zuma,” he says.

Zuma has been given five days to hand himself over to the police – at either Nkandla police station or Johannesburg.