JOHANNESBURG, 14 April 2021 – Former South African President Jacob Zuma has rejected as a “sham” a request from a court to suggest the punishment he should face if found guilty on corruption charges.
It would be ridiculous for someone who reportedly broke the law to indicate which punishment he should endure.
Last February, Zuma refused to appear before the Zondo Commission which is investigating corruption during his presidency of the country.
The former leader could face sanctions.
He had until Wednesday to file an affidavit with the Constitutional Court, according to a ruling by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
In a 21-page affidavit, Zuma said he had reached the conclusion that there was an “inexplicable judicial antipathy” towards him.
He did not explain further.
In 2018, the former South African leader resigned under pressure and accusations of corruption.
Zuma has always denied the charges, describing himself as a victim of a conspiracy.
“My decision not to participate in the contempt of court proceedings was based on my belief that my participation would not change the atmosphere of judicial hostility and humiliation reflected in its judgment against me,” Zuma told reporters.
The 79-year-old former South African leader has stressed his constitutional right “to be presumed innocent, to remain silent and not to testify in proceedings”.
“I do not accept that I committed contempt of court when I decided not to participate in the commission proceedings in circumstances where my rights would be violated,” Zuma wrote in the affidavit.
The former South African leader continues to plead his innocence.
“What the Zondo Commission has done is inexcusable and I will live to see my vindication when – after squandering billions of much needed public revenue, an independent court reviews and set aside the findings of the commission on the basis that it was not established in accordance with our constitution,” the affidavit read in part.