Zuma admits he was legally ill-advised, asks apex court to rescind contempt ruling, jail term

Date: 03 Jul 2021

Zuma says he fully accepts that the most legally appropriate route he should have taken would have been to apply for interim relief to interdict his appearance before the State Capture commission.

Former President Jacob Zuma has admitted he was wrong to think that he could not be forced to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, and conceded he was legally ill-advised.

Zuma made these concessions in his application to the Constitutional Court to rescind Tuesday’s ruling, which found him in contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months in prison.

“I now fully accept that the most legally appropriate route which I could and should have taken would have been to apply for interim relief to interdict my appearance before the commission,” Zuma said in court papers.

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“I did not do so partly because of the legal advice I had received.”

He said this was also motivated by the issue of recent financial hardship, citing it was hard for him to give attention to other applications that demanded financial resources.

“My focus for not engaging the application of Commission to the Constitutional Court was based largely on the lack of finance to engage lawyers to focus on the urgency basis and in terms demanded by the Commission and accepter by the Constitutional Court.”

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“For obvious reasons, my criminal trial is a priority.”

Zuma also said not many attorneys and advocates were prepared to take his cases, especially not on a verbal promise that he would raise the funds for the ligation.

“I must also say that I put my trust in the clearly mistaken view that I could not be forced to appear before the judge, whose recusal was the subject matter of an ongoing court process.

“I was clearly wrong in this belief which I held in good faith,” said Zuma.

By Siyanda NdlovuDigital Journalist

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