By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Former president Jacob Zuma has hit back at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry.
In a 12-page and 37 points statement issued this evening, Zuma started by claiming that he took this extraordinary step not to undermine the Constitution but to vindicate it, in the face of what he viewed as "a few in the judiciary that have long left their constitutional station to join political battles."
He added that his defiance is a political statement aimed at those who have used the law to unfairly penalise him and persecute his family.
Zuma said Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s conduct on Monday fortifies his belief that he has always sought to prejudice him.
Earlier on Monday after his no-show, Zondo indicated that the Commission would approach the Constitutional Court in a bid to secure Zuma’s imprisonment over his defiance of summonses issued against him.
Zondo said the commission took Zuma’s snub seriously, and it could create chaos and lawlessness if it was allowed to continue, adding that the commission would institute contempt of court proceedings and plead for jail time for him.
In what was labelled "Final statement on Constitutional Court decision", Zuma said: "The Deputy Chief Justice concluded by saying my contempt constitute grounds for him to approach to the Constitutional Court to seek a sentence. Of course he will get it. I am not certain that ordinarily that is how contempt proceedings would commence, but I have accepted that Deputy Chief Justice Zondo and due process and the law are estranged.
"Now that it seems that my role in the commission has come to an end, I wait to face the sentence to be issued by the Constitutional Court. Accordingly, I stand by my statement of 1 February 2021 and no amount of intimidation or blackmail will change my position as I firmly believe that we should never allow for the establishment of a judiciary in which justice, fairness and due process are discretionary and are exclusively preserved for certain litigants and not others," he alleged.
"It is not the authority of the Constitutional Court that I reject, but its abuse by a few judges. It is not our law that I defy, but a few lawless judges who have left their constitutional post for political expediency. I respect the law and have subjected myself even to its abuse for the past 20 years," Zuma said.
Responding to his critics who have called for the state to cut his presidential pension and other perks like bodyguards, top of the range vehicles and state-paid servants, he said was unmoved.
Meanwhile the African National Congress – has reaffirmed its support of the commission and has called on Zuma to review his decision.
Kwazulu-Natal ANC chairperson said he was confident that national and provincial officials would be able to make Zuma understand the importance of embracing the country’s laws.
The ANC said Zuma’s actions would cause division within the party and wanted him to review his decision.
At the same time, President Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed the party’s support for the state capture commission and has urged all South Africans to cooperate with the commission.