Zuma heading to prison is no time to celebrate: Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma is not the time to celebrate but to teach citizens about the rule of law and the values of the Constitution, says Anglican Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba.

Makgoba says while it’s sad and painful for a person to go to jail, he had prayed that the day would not arrive for Zuma to defy the court as the State Capture Commission needed to hear his side of the story.

Makgoba says he plans to visit Zuma in jail if he is allowed.

“I will as I earlier said enquire and if apt as scripture compels me when Jesus asks I was hungry did you feed me? I was in prison, did you visit me? And indeed if allowed, I will pay him a pastoral visit in jail,” says Makgoba.

“It is not time for celebration. It is the time for teaching South Africans about the rule of law, about the values of the constitution and about the tenets of the constitution,” he added.

Timeline of Zuma’s court appearances over the last 16 years

Meanwhile, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) says while Zuma has handed himself over to begin his 15 month jail sentence, tomorrow’s Pietermaritzburg High Court judgment on his stay of arrest will determine whether he stays behind bars until his rescission application next week.

CASAC executive secretary Lawson Naidoo says South Africa’s democracy has been strengthened and remains intact.

“Despite the bluster and threats of defiance, former President Zuma has spent last night at the Estcourt prison. The law will take its course, this is how things need to happen in an orderly fashion…”

“Ultimately Mr Zuma had to respect the judgment of the Constitutional Court that was handed down last week.”

Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge  Bhekisisa Mnguni has indicated that he will deliver his judgment at 11:30 on Friday.

Naidoo says, “Depending on the outcome of that judgment, we will know whether Mr Zuma remains in prison or whether a stay of the concourt order is ordered by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.”

Analysis and reaction to the imprisonment of the former president:

Naidoo says, “I think Mr Zuma is on extremely thin ice. I’m surprised that the Constitutional Court has agreed to hear this application, because it does appear on the face of it and certainly in terms of Mr Zuma’s application and affidavit he has not put forward any grounds as to why he satisfies the requirement of a recession order, which I expect to be dismissed.”

He says, “Bail applications are strictly limited to people who are awaiting trial or awaiting sentence, neither of those situations applies to Mr Zuma.”