With a few hours left before the deadline given to him to tell the Constitutional Court what sentence he feels should be meted out for defying it, former president Jacob Zuma has kept everybody guessing on whether he will meet the deadline or continue with his non-participation stance.
On Monday Zuma’s lawyer of records in the court, Eric Mabuza, and the former president’s spokesperson, Vukile Mathabela, were not forthcoming, when asked whether Zuma will change his mind and participate in the legal process, or stick to his defiant stance that saw him telling the court to sentence him in absentia and that he would serve any sentence.
“The first respondent (Zuma) must file an affidavit not longer than 15 pages on or before Wednesday, April 14, on the following issues: In the event that the first respondent is found guilty of the alleged contempt of court, what constitutes the appropriate sanctions, and in the event this courts deems committal appropriate, the nature and the magnitude of the sentence that should be imposed, supported by reasons,” reads part of the Concourt instruction to Zuma.
It added that should Zuma elect to exercise his right to mitigate before he is sentenced for defying a lawful instruction to appear before the Zondo Commission to testify in December and January, then all parties involved in the matter should file their counter affidavits as well.
Meanwhile, on Monday Zuma turned 79 and his party, the ANC, associates and friends heaped birthday wishes on him.
Zuma, South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president, was born in rural Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal on April 12, 1942. His father was Nobhekisisa Zuma and his mother was Gcinamazwi Zuma (née Mzobe).
Attesting to his public discourse-dominating demeanour, some of Zuma’s supporters on Twitter called the day #ZumaDay and at some point the hashtag was at number one, and also in the top 10 trending South African hashtags was his clan’s name “Msholozi”.
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