Zuma may just have tied the ConCourt in knots

25 June 2021 - 11:49
By READER LETTER
Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.

I once imagined that when advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told the Constitutional Court (March 22) that "The only option left is for [Jacob Zuma's] incarceration" for his failure to comply with a court order it was going to be a slam dunk.

How wrong I was. It would appear that it was Zuma who had tied the Constitutional Court in technical knots that the eminent justices are unable to extricate themselves from.

I saw the 12 jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd took less than 12 hours to render a verdict of guilty in all three charges in a case more complicated (in terms of the volume of technical and legal minutiae) than that of Zuma at the ConCourt.

It is more than three months that our distinguished jurists have been struggling with this case. What could be the reason? Ngcukaitobi said Zuma's was a case of him ignoring all proceedings before the ConCourt; that his was a cynical ploy to avoid accountability.  "The summons and court order have to be obeyed", said the advocate. It is that simple.

Me thinks it requires no abstruse and arcane jural precedents to dispose of this irritant of a case. Baron de Montesquieu, the originator of the constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers, said that there was "no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice".

Our ConCourt jurists should avoid giving that intimation some aura of credibility.

Prof Themba Sono, email