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'I'm a victim in this emerging constitutional dictatorship': Five key takeouts from Zuma's letter

21 September 2021 - 09:27
Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Former president Jacob Zuma. File photo.


Former president Jacob Zuma has launched another attack on SA's judiciary, claiming the country is turning into a “constitutional dictatorship”.

In a four-page letter released by his foundation on Monday, the former president said he believed history would vindicate him and his beliefs. 

He said many people are hypnotised by the “long-standing anti-Zuma narrative”. 

The letter comes just days after the Constitutional Court gave its verdict on Zuma's rescission application. He had asked the apex court to set aside his 15-month contempt of court jail sentence, which was handed down in June after he failed to comply with the court's order to appear before the state capture commission.

Here are five key takeouts from his letter.

Constitutional dictatorship.

Zuma alleged SA was moving from a democracy to a “constitutional dictatorship”.

“As with many of our leaders during the struggle, I believe that history will vindicate me when I say that SA today is in the process of changing from a constitutional democracy to a constitutional dictatorship.”

Bending and manipulating the law

He said there was an anti-Zuma narrative and the law is being bent and manipulated against him. 

“Many people are blind to this reality at this point because they have been successfully hypnotised by the long-standing anti-Zuma narrative. It is perhaps convenient or even befitting for others that the laws of this country be repeatedly bent and manipulated when dealing with Zuma.”

Thuli Madonsela’s state of capture report

Zuma said the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture was born out of an “anomaly” and former public protector Thuli Madonsela should have handed over her investigation to her successor at the end of her time in office. 

“However, given that this was a case that had something to do with Zuma, a different process was followed to set up a commission. 

“For the first time, the presidential prerogative and powers to appoint a commission of inquiry were unilaterally usurped by the public protector and handed to the chief justice.” he claimed.

A very sad day in history

Zuma also expressed his issue with the ConCourt's latest judgment, claiming it believed it was above the constitution.

“It is a very sad day in our history to observe how those we have entrusted with the constitution now consider themselves above the constitution.”

Constitutional right to publicly critique judges

He said he had been rebuked for his public comments about the conduct of certain members of the judiciary and does not understand why. 

“It is my constitutional right to publicly critique judges the same way they have a right to critique me as a politician. 

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental right and for that to be used against me as aggravation in imposing a sentence for civil contempt is another of the many anomalies I remain a victim in this emerging constitutional dictatorship.”