'I will ask to visit Mr Zuma in prison': Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

'To those who are inclined to push back against this judgment, to those who have been preparing the ground by denouncing the judiciary, I urge them: do not go this route,' said Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

29 June 2021 - 19:15 By shonisani tshikalange
Former president Jacob Zuma was on Tuesday found guilty of contempt of court. File photo.
Former president Jacob Zuma was on Tuesday found guilty of contempt of court. File photo.
Image: Phill Magakoe/REUTERS

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said on Tuesday that the Constitutional Court had done its job and upheld the constitution and its values without fear or favour.

He was commenting in response to the decision to sentence former president Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison for contempt of court.

“I had prayed that we would not get to the point at which Mr Zuma was jailed for contempt,” Makgoba said in a statement. “But it is to the credit of our democracy that the judiciary and institutions of accountability remain strong in the face of pressure. They are a source of reassurance and hope that all that we have struggled for has not been lost in this last period, years which the locusts have devoured. We remain a resilient democracy.”

Makgoba said this was also a moment to pledge to continue to strengthen and respect these institutions, as they represent the best of our humanity and our social convictions as democrats and artisans of justice.

“SA is built on a strong constitutional foundation and this judgment needs to be seen in that light. It needs to be stressed again and again that it is the rule of law that is paramount. That includes the principle that no-one is above the law. We all need to respect the rule of law, its principles and the organs of our society that give expression to it,” he said.

Makgoba has called for people to devote their energy in support of the constitution.

“To those who are inclined to push back against this judgment, to those who have been preparing the ground by denouncing the judiciary, I urge them: do not go this route. Instead devote your energy to supporting campaigns to popularise our constitution, to broaden education around the basic tenets of democracy and to engage in activities that offer hope for the future.

“Jesus asked, 'When I was in prison, did you visit me?' As a pastor, my heart is heavy over Mr Zuma going to prison. I will pray for him and, when apt, I will ask to visit him.”

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