The civil rights organisation AfriForum will submit an urgent application to the Constitutional Court today to put aside former president Jacob Zuma’s last attempt to escape criminal prosecution.
A week ago, on Friday, just a few days before his resignation, Zuma published the regulations with the mandate to which the commission of enquiry must comply. This commission will be headed by the Deputy Chief Justice and Justice Raymond Zondo.
Regulation 8(2) of these regulations determines that no evidence which serves before the commission or any facts that come to light as a result of this evidence may be used in criminal proceedings.
The implication of this regulation is that Zuma has in effect pulled the commission’s teeth, as any revelation before the commission that comes down to corruption, bribery, organised crime or any other crime related to the controversial and now well-known state capture, may not be used to prove the guilt of any accused who is subsequently prosecuted.
The news team of Jacaranda FM last week revealed that the regulations, which were very quietly published last Friday, contained this contentious condition.
As this case relates to a constitutional failure of the President himself, AfriForum is of the opinion that the case falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court. AfriForum therefore brought an application for direct access to this Court to bring this urgent application.
According to the rules of the Constitutional Court, the Presidency and the Public Protector will have the opportunity to indicate whether or not they oppose the application – with reason for the opposition – after which the Constitutional Court will consider the application.
If the application is admissible for handling by the Constitutional Court, the Chief Justice will issue directives according to which the affair van be resolved. AfriForum has already indicated that the organisation will do all in its power to ensure that prosecution is instituted for the widespread corruption and plundering of the state coffers under the Zuma administration.
According to AfriForum’s legal representative, Willie Spies, it is important that this application be brought to ensure that the teeth of the commission of enquiry led by Justice Zondo are not be pulled in advance.