The DA noted that ex-pres. Jacob Zuma has extended his stay in Russia and will appeal to the national commissioner of correctional services (DKD) to make a “quick, constitutional and lawful” decision on Zuma’s possible return to prison.
RNews earlier reported that the former president’s visit to Russia was in the same week that the Constitutional Court dismissed the DCD’s application for leave to appeal against a court decision that Zuma must go back to prison, with costs.
Zuma was expected to return to South Africa this week.
According to adv. Glynnis Breytenbach, the DA’s spokesperson on justice and constitutional development, seems to have now extended Zuma’s stay in Russia in anticipation of the announcement by Makgothi Thobakgale, the commissioner of the DCD, on whether Zuma should serve the rest of his sentence behind bars.
Breytenbach says the uncertainty about this causes anxiety and must be ended without delay. She says that while the department is stalling with a decision, “Zuma is hiding in Russia”.
“It is essential that Zuma returns to prison after being found guilty of contempt of the Constitutional Court. The rule of law applies to everyone in South Africa, and pres. Zuma’s return to prison is essential for restoring our confidence in the judiciary and the principle of equality before the law.”
Breytenbach says the DA will make a written appeal to Thobakgale to quickly make a decision about Zuma’s possible return to prison and that he must give a deadline for this.
“We also want to remind him that his decision must be constitutional, lawful and rational, and to place the interests of South Africa and its legal system above narrow political interests.
“Should the final decision of the department be illegal or irregular, the DA will not hesitate to take further steps to ensure that the verdict of the Constitutional Court is upheld and that Zuma serves the rest of his sentence,” says Breytenbach.
“The uncertainty surrounding Zuma’s detention must be resolved now. The DA will do everything in its power to ensure that Jacob Zuma ultimately bears the consequences of his actions.”