Former president Jacob Zuma on Sunday denied he refused to appear at the state capture inquiry, and claimed there is a narrative and propaganda to paint him as being defiant of the inquiry.
Zuma was addressing a media briefing from his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal after a chaotic day that saw scores of his supporters flock to his residence to “prevent his arrest”.
Last Tuesday the Constitutional Court found Zuma guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months’ imprisonment. Sunday was the last day for Zuma to hand himself in, after which the police minister and police commissioner were obliged to arrest him.
On Friday, Zuma applied to the Constitutional Court to rescind its order, and the high court in Pietermaritzburg to stop police from arresting him while his application is being heard. The ConCourt will hear the matter on July 12.
Seated between his daughter Duduzile and advocate Dali Mpofu, Zuma again claimed there was bias against him
Here are six quotes from his address:
‘I’ve never refused to testify’
“Contrary to the mainstream narrative and propaganda against me, I have never refused to appear before the state capture commission. In fact, the disagreement or discomfort from my side arose when I was in attendance at the commission.
“It is my honest view that my past relationship with inquiry chairperson judge Raymond Zondo began to manifest itself in a manner that caused him to treat me unfairly and with bias.”
‘Don’t call it the Zondo commission’
“It is in fact incorrect to refer to the state capture inquiry as the Zondo commission. If something happened to judge Zondo, the commission would continue. If a member of his family was implicated in state capture allegations, he would have to recuse himself.”
‘Not the only one who has defied the commission’
“All I am asking for is fairness and consistency. Jacob Zuma is not the first person to have a reason not to appear before the state capture commission. I must not be understood to be condoning any acts or conduct that seek to deliberately frustrate the objectives of the commission.”
‘Sentenced without trial’
“The fact that I was lambasted with a punitive jail sentence without trial is something which should induce a sense of shock in all those who cherish freedom and the rule of law. The rule of law does not mean dealing harshly with those you may dislike for whatever reason.”
‘Judges interpret the law differently’
“People at times interpret the law in different ways. That is why when people are convicted in lower courts, they appeal to higher courts, hoping some judges will be able to interpret the law correctly. It was important to look at this judgment and say ‘look at it again. Is this what you actually mean?’”
‘No need for jail yet’
“The ConCourt can’t accept those [application to rescind the order] papers and expect me to go to jail. It means opening up a space for us to interact on these matters. There’s no need for me to go to jail today because we are engaging with the Constitutional Court.”