Choose your punishment, Zuma told


SOUTH Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has provided former South African president Jacob Zuma an opportunity to influence the sanction the Constitutional Court should impose on him, should he be found guilty of contempt of court.

The Constitutional Court, the highest court in SA, is due to hand down its verdict in a case in which it has been asked by the chair of the judicial commission into state capture to find Zuma guilty of contempt and sent him to jail for two years.

Zuma has until April 14 to file the affidavit.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo wrote to the Constitutional Court after Zuma failed to appear before the commission and the court on separate occasions.

Mogoeng yesterday directed Zuma to file an affidavit, of no longer than 15 pages, by April. In the affidavit Zuma must spell out what constitutes the appropriate sanction if the Constitutional Court was to find him guilty of alleged contempt.

Mogoeng also ordered Zuma to submit input on the nature and magnitude of the prison he should face and the supporting reasons, should the Constitutional Court decide to send him to jail.

Mogoeng said if Zuma submitted the affidavit, as directed, the Zondo Commission, the Ministe of Police, the National Commissioner of Police and the Helen Suzman Foundation, the amicus curae, will be asked to file responding affidavits by April 16.

The Zondo Commission approached the Constitutional Court and asked it to convict and jail Zuma .

The commission  has indicated that it would be happy with a conviction and suspended sentence for Zuma, on condition that he testifies before the commission.

These positions are contained in the urgent application filed by the Zondo Commission to the Constitutional Court in which the case against Zuma was laid out.

In an unprecedented step, Zuma has defied both the Constitutional Court and the Zondo Commission to appear, testify and respond, among others, to allegations that have been made against him. He has also attacked Zondo and the judiciary. 

The commission seeks an order from the Constitutional Court that Zuma intentionally and wilfully failed to appear before Zondo on February 15-19.

They also charge that Zuma failed or refused to submit the commission with affidavits which the presiding officer ordered him to depose on issues relating to Eskom and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa. The commission said Zuma’s failure to appear and to file the affidavits was unlawful and intentional.

According to its submission, the commission also wants Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole to be ordered to implement the order handed down by the court.

The commission has also asked the Constitutional Court to order Zuma to pay the costs of the application.

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