Human Rights & Public Liberties

Human Rights & Public Liberties

Published on: 13 Jan, 2021

Former SA President Zuma attacks independence of judiciary

Published on: 22 February, 2021

Former South African President Jacob Zuma criticised the South African judiciary this week. He stated that some judges had ‘sold their souls and have forsaken their oaths of office in an attempt to vilify him.’

President Zuma has been in the spotlight after defying an order by the Constitutional Court of South Africa to appear before the so-called ‘Zondo Commission’ which is investigating allegations of state capture in South Africa.

Zuma singled out the names of two judges in his statement: deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo and Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo.

Zuma stated that he was not defying the law but a  few ‘lawless judges’. He said:  ‘We sit with some judges who have assisted the incumbent President to hide from society what on the face of it seem to be bribes obtained in order to win an internal ANC election.’

Zuma’s statement was followed by similar claims by  Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Front.  Malema said there were ‘growing and now believable allegations’ that some judges were ‘on the payroll of the white capitalist establishment’ and had received bribes ‘through CR17 donations’. CR 17 refers to funding received by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2017 for his campaign to run for president of the ANC.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded by saying that attacks on the judiciary shakes the foundation of South Africa’s constitutional democracy.