Jacob Zuma in an orange overalls in cell seven with a tinplate and a toilet in one corner would be the logical and poetic conclusion to a long career of mismanagement, abuse of power, corruption and state imprisonment, writes Max du Preez.
< The hope that 2021 could be the "year of the orange overalls" could be fulfilled in a dramatic way and as early as next week. And it will be a turning point in South African politics after 1994.
The Constitutional Court justices kindly asked Zuma to tell them what he saw as the appropriate punishment for his refusal to obey an order from that court. And now he has responded with a letter from hell, in which he conscientiously refuses to take part in their trials.
The court today set the deadline for submitting proposals regarding Zuma’s judgment. In all likelihood, this means that the court has already decided to find him guilty. No new evidence or input is expected. So, could it be more than a few days for the court to convict Zuma?
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and possibly several other judges in the court will likely be very reluctant to sentence the former president to prison – maybe even two years, as suggested by Judge Raymond Zondo.
But if the court imposes a fine or suspended sentence, it will create an even bigger crisis.
Zuma’s continued disdain for the country’s highest court and judicial commission of inquiry into the arrest of the state – and his extreme insults to senior judges – have no precedent in our legal system. Anything other than jail time, even if it was only a few months, would open the door to others to treat court orders with contempt and would seriously undermine the rule of law.
The Honorable Judges cannot afford it to overlook the context of this case. There is now a rush to justice like it has never been seen before. It is the duty of the country’s highest court to protect it as it is the strongest pillar of our democracy.
Read more about it, as well as more news and analysis, in this week’s edition of Vrye Weekblad < / em>.
Articles published this week in the Vrye Weekblad
>> you have to read the full edition of April 16th
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