Fikile Mbalula: ‘Zuma will lose nothing by going to the state capture inquiry'
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has weighed in on the state capture inquiry’s request for Jacob Zuma to be jailed for contempt of court, saying the former president “will lose nothing” by appearing before the commission chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
The request comes after Zuma failed to show up at the inquiry last week, despite an order from the Constitutional Court to do so.
It said Zuma’s failure to appear before it and failure to file affidavits as directed by the court were some of the grounds on which he should be found guilty of contempt.
Zuma’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, said the former president was awaiting the outcome of a review for Zondo to recuse himself as inquiry chairperson.
Taking to social media, Mbalula said Zuma stands to lose nothing by appearing before the inquiry.
He claimed Zuma’s supporters on social media were misleading him.
“Of course, the law is properly applied,” said Mbalula.
“Stop misleading Zuma for your own ends. SA is a constitutional state, stop testing the system. Niyamqhatha umsholozi [you guys are misleading him]. I rest my case.”
Offcourse the law is properly applied stop misleading JZ for your own ends. South africa is a constitutional state stop testing the system. Niyamqhatha umsholozi i rest my case.— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) February 22, 2021
In his response to UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, Mbalula reiterated that the possible two years’ jail time could be avoided.
2 years for stuff that could be avoided ?— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) February 22, 2021
This is not the first time Mbalula has weighed in on Zuma’s refusal to appear before the inquiry.
Earlier this month, he shared a clip from a video of the former president announcing the establishment of the inquiry in January 2018.
“I urge everyone to co-operate with the commission of inquiry. I trust we will all respect the process and place no impediments to prevent the commission from doing its work,” Zuma said in the video.
Mbalula’s recent comments drew mixed reactions as many slammed the former Zuma ally for “flip-flopping”, while others agreed Zuma should appear.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
You said people go to the Commission to urinate! You want Msholozi to be urinated upon? You can go there yourself to be urinated upon and not uBaba.— Comrade Bhakaniya! (@Msirny) February 22, 2021
You minister of all people, as a public servant know that President Zuma has every right to express his concerns over the proceedings at the commission. If he feels his rights are being undermined, he reserves the right to express that. Just like you and me he has rights— The Musician (@bongzmessi) February 22, 2021
Mr Fikile, why it’s so difficult for bra zondo recuse himself to allow a fair testimony from Pres Zuma....we all want to know who is capturing the state, what was the reason you went to Stellenbosch...facts remains you’ve deserted him. He made you.— stone_judge (@Stonendlovu) February 22, 2021
He must just go and save poor people's lives that will die for him. Mind you they did not benefit a cents from all his corruption with the Guptas— Tell The Truth (@thevoiceless2) February 23, 2021
True Mbaks, JZ is being ill advised by the people around him.— Lindani Moyo (@LindaniMoyo8) February 22, 2021