The decision by the Constitutional Court to dismiss the rescission application by former President Jacob Zuma, and uphold the June 29 ruling that handed him a 15-month jail sentence, has left his supporters fuming.
On Friday Justice Sisi Khampepe handed down the apex court’s judgement, ruling that Zuma did not qualify for a rescission.
Khampepe said Zuma’s argument that he did not participate in the process which led to his jailing which started on July 8 at Estcourt Correctional Centre did not hold water.
She said when Zuma was asked to make an input he decided not to do so, instead issuing a public statement impugning the dignity of the apex court.
Mzwanele Manyi, spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, said the ruling was disappointing and would shake international confidence in South Africa.
“Obviously the foundation is disappointed with this judgement, the rights of his excellency President Zuma continue to be waived, continue to be ignored because the court has taken upon itself to prioritise its own dignity over the dignity of a human being.
“This is what this judgement was really all about. Also, we are disappointed by the fact that what the judgement has actually done will actually even undermine the investor confidence because what it means is that if you are going to have a judgement that is going to say that section 39, paragraph 1 of the constitution, which obliges the government to take into consideration international law, but then you have a judgement that says it is not obliged to it.
He was referring to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which sets out a number of rights of accused and arrested people, and that “everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law”.
Manyi said : “It means that people doing business in South Africa are not going to have confidence in our rule of law because if you are going to have courts themselves saying they are not obliged (to honour) treaties that they have signed, that is an indictment in terms of our standing internationally. So, indeed we think this judgement is very bad for the country, is very bad for justice, is very bad for rule of law.
But Judge Khampepe dismissed Zuma’s contention that international law was violated in jailing him. She said the international law Zuma cited in his application did not apply in South Africa’s legal landscape.
“We are going to show our anger and the whole world will see our anger”.,” he said.
Another long time ally of Zuma, Andile Lungisa, a former ANC councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro in the Eastern Cape, took to Twitter and said they would not hesitate to take the case to the international forum.
“Constitutional Court says international law does not apply in South Africa. We are in for a big fight… We will go (to) the International Criminal Court and Human Rights Court. ,” he tweeted.
Carl Niehaus, the spokesperson of the MKMVA and a long time of Zuma said the ruling was a deepening of the persecution of the former head of state.
“The continuing capture of our courts – even the #CC – for factional political purposes, continues. The injustice of the illegal political imprisonment of @PresJGZuma is further deepened. Upholding the ‘principle of finality’ to take @PresJGZuma’s right of appeal away is an outrage,” he tweeted shortly after the ruling.