By Kaya 959 News
The Pietermaritzburg High Court’s decision to withhold judgment in Jacob Zuma’s appeal leaves him vulnerable to arrest.
The former South African president appeared before Judge Jerome Mngumi in a virtual sitting on Tuesday.
He was appealing a ruling by the Constitutional Court which found him in contempt of court for failing to appear before the State Capture.
The ConCourt sentenced Zuma to 15 months imprisonment on June 29.
He had until Sunday to hand himself over. He failed to do so and instead filed an urgent application to have the ruling rescinded.
Addressing the crowds gathered at his Nkandla residence at the weekend, Zuma slammed the ConCourt’s ruling, stating that he was an old man and that sending him to jail at his age was like handing him a death sentence.
“I’m not asking for sympathy, but justice. My age and health condition and any other mitigating circumstances were not considered when the imprisonment was decided”, Zuma told the crowd.
Legal expert weighs in
Legal expert, Mpumelelo Zikalala, told IOL that the Magistrate’s decision to withhold judgment left Zuma vulnerable to arrest. He explained that if police wanted to, they could arrest the former president.
He said technically, police could arrest Zuma as there is no legal instrument stopping them from doing so.
“In fact, they are obligated to do so as the ConCourt ruling on the matter still stands and if police don’t carry it out, they would be in contempt of court,” he said.
SAPS management issued acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo with a letter stating that they would not arrest Zuma “pending the finalisation of the litigation alternatively, pending any directions the Honourable Acting Chief Justice may possibly issue regarding the conduct of the litigation and any other related matter relevant to the litigation.”
Judge Mnguni will hand down judgment on Friday.