ConCourt asks Zuma and Zondo for fresh arguments on ex-president's imprisonment

The Constitutional Court has asked Jacob Zuma to make representations on his imprisonment for contempt of court.
The Constitutional Court has asked Jacob Zuma to make representations on his imprisonment for contempt of court.
Image: LULAMA ZENZILE

The Constitutional Court has asked the legal teams of former president Jacob Zuma and other parties to submit documents addressing the international law and constitutional implications of his detention.

In a tweet on Saturday, announcing a development “of international importance”, the Jacob Zuma Foundation published a two-page document issued by the ConCourt on Friday.

In the document, the ConCourt asks for 20-page submissions by August 18 on whether it should consider Zuma's prison sentence for contempt of court in terms of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Among the parties the ConCourt has asked to respond is acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the judicial inquiry into state capture where Zuma's refusal to testify eventually led to his imprisonment on July 7. 

The highest court cited section 39 (1) of the constitution, which reads: “When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum ¬ (a) must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom; (b) must consider international law; and (c) may consider foreign law”.

The UN covenant commits its parties to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, electoral rights and rights to due process and a fair trial.

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