JOHANNESBURG: Ms Mkhwebane says she aligns herself with the Constitutional Court’s minority judgment.
South Africa’s watchdog head, Ms Busisiwe Mkhwebane believes the former president of the country, Mr Jacob Zuma should not be sent to jail.
Ms Mkhwebane says she aligns herself with the Constitutional Court’s minority judgment.
She was responding to questions during a briefing on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the country’s top court sentenced Mr Zuma to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of court.
The minority judgment held that the former president should be given a suspended sentence.
“I have seen the minority judgment which I think I follow because everyone has the right to be heard and everyone has the right to be protected in terms of the Constitution – and I think I am more aligned to the minority judgment in this particular matter,” she said.
The Constitutional Court justices who heard the case all agreed that Mr Zuma was guilty of contempt for defying an order to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry.
But two judgments were handed down – a majority judgment, which was scathing about Mr Zuma’s attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the court and its authority, and sentenced him to 15 months in jail – and a minority judgment.
Penned by Justice Leona Theron with Justice Chris Jafta concurring, the minority judgment differed on how to sanction Mr Zuma, recommending that the case be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority for criminal prosecution so that a court would decide any sentence to be imposed.