Jacob Zuma arrest high court judgement

Photo: file

Zuma arrest: High Court to rule on JZ’s bid to avoid jail

Former president Jacob Zuma approached the courts to avoid going to prison to serve his contempt of court sentence

Jacob Zuma arrest high court judgement

Photo: file

Law experts have admitted that this is a rather unique situation: The High Court in Pietermaritzburg is expected to deliver judgement on former president Jacob Zuma’s legal bid to avoid going to prison to serve his contempt of court sentence, on Friday morning, 9 July 2021.

The former president approached the courts on Tuesday, just a day shy of the deadline that the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) deadline to arrest him, as per a ruling by the Constitutional Court.

Whatever the High Court decides, there are undoubtedly some interesting aspects to consider, particularly pertain to this case. For one, Zuma has already begun serving his 15-month sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

The State Capture Commission is opposing Zuma’s stay of prosecution application dismissed with costs.

Could Jacob Zuma be freed?

According to legal expert Ulrich Roux, Jacob Zuma’s bid to block his arrest is moot at this point, mainly because he has already been incarcerated.

Another obvious aspect to consider: The Constitutional Court is the ultimate decider and it is unlikely that a High Court of any kind could overrule on its verdict. This certainly puts a new spin on things, especially because Zuma’s application to have his sentence rescinded, is set to be heard on Tuesday, 12 July.

The commission argues that having the High Court take on the apex court would undermine the hierarchy of the country’s court system.

“The natural flow of what [Zuma] proposes is a situation where courts interfere with and undermine each other’s orders, under the guise of exercising their inherent powers. That cannot be,” the commission’s secretary Professor Itumeleng Mosala said.

Speaking to broadcaster eNCA, Roux said it was unlikely that Zuma’s stay of prosecution bid would be successful.

“I think the court will find that Jacob Zuma had no right to approach the High Court because the High Court cannot say to the Constitutional Court, how an order should be implemented,” he said.