Former President Jacob Zuma has compared his 15-month jail term to a death sentence.
He made the comment during a media briefing at his home at Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday night.
This was after a weekend in which thousands of pro-Zuma supporters defied lockdown regulations and gathered outside his home to protest against the sentence.
Last week, the Constitutional Court sentenced Zuma for contempt of court.
Former President Jacob Zuma contempt case judgment:
This was after he ignored its ruling that he continues to testify at the Commission of Inquiry despite his claim that Justice Raymond Zondo was biased.
Zuma says he is at high risk due to his medical condition and age.
“Sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic at my age is the same as sentencing me to death. The death sentence was declared unconstitutional in South Africa in 1995 as a result of my own sacrifices and those of millions of South Africans,” says the former President.
He also claims that he was sentenced without trial.
However, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng had directed him to file an affidavit of no longer than 15 pages detailing what would constitute an appropriate sanction should he be found guilty of contempt of court.
Instead, Zuma submitted a 21-page letter to Mogoeng saying he would not depose an affidavit as he had been directed.
The Constitutional Court will hear Zuma’s rescission application on Monday, July 12.
Zuma says he will not hand himself over to prison authorities in the meantime.
Zuma addresses the media on Sunday, July 4, 2021, at his Nkandla home:
‘Judgment fair and objective’
Zuma has, however, welcomed the Constitutional Court’s decision to hear his application for his 15 months jail sentence to be overturned.
He described it as objective, fair and in line with the provisions of the Constitution, which prohibits detention without trial.
“I must also hasten to acknowledge and appreciate the Constitutional Court for its recent announcement where it indicated that on the 12th of July it will give me audience. I trust that peace-loving people of South Africa will support me until this matter is concluded in a manner that the rule of law and the Constitution will reign supreme,” he said.
He also said the commission shouldn’t be referred as the Zondo Commission as this poses a possible conflict of interest should any of the judge’s relatives be implicated in the alleged abuse of state resources at the commission.
Zuma insists that Zondo is not objective towards him and that there is a conflict of interest there.
Political implication of events at Nkandla: