Analysts said that former President Jacob Zuma was an unacceptable deviation and the law must simply take its course when dealing with him.
Late on Thursday night, Zuma released an eight-page statement in which he warned that the country’s democracy would unravel and democratic gains would be lost in the ashes.
This was hours after the Constitutional Court heard an application by the state capture commission regarding the former president’s refusal to testify before it.
The commission wants Zuma jailed for being in contempt of the apex court – he has said that he was willing to serve time in jail.
Former President Zuma accused the judiciary of being beyond reproach, claiming that the country had an oppressive and unjust system.
University of Johannesburg’s Professor Mcebisi Ndlenytana said that Zuma’s threats should not be taken lightly.
Ndletyana said that Zuma would be able to mobilise and find people amenable to his cause, although he doubted how much loyalty he would be shown when facing off with law enforcement.
He added that the confrontation between the rule of law and politics was necessary.
“If you are to entrench and strengthen our institutions and make sure that people behave lawfully, then you have to be consistent in your application of the law.”
Nelson Mandela University’s Ongama Mtimka said that Zuma’s latest statement showed how the former president had mastered the reframing of issues to suit his own narrative or his own battles.
“… rather than the narrow issues happening inside either the Constitutional Court or state capture commission.”
Zuma’s threat, his continued defiance of the Constitutional Court and the actions of some of his allies within the African National Congress (ANC) were all expected to form part of discussions at this weekend’s national executive committee meeting of the ANC.