South Africa: Zuma Threatens to Defy the Constitution He Twice Swore to Uphold

Former President Jacob Zuma at an African Union meeting.
analysis

The defiance of former president Jacob Zuma is not just a challenge to the Zondo Commission or to the Constitutional Court. It is a challenge to the whole constitutional order that we fought so hard to achieve.

Section 2 of the Constitution, headed Supremacy of the Constitution, declares that "this Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic; law or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid, and the obligations imposed by it must be fulfilled".

When he was twice sworn in as president, Jacob Zuma took an oath that he would "be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other laws of the Republic."

As a former president he should be the first to show respect for the Constitution that he and his organisation fought for and helped to write; for the Constitutional Court, most of whose current members he appointed and for the Zondo Commission, which he established. Instead, he has openly and publicly declared that he will defy the Constitution, the Court and the Commission.

He is refusing to accept the supremacy of the Constitution. He insults the judges of the Constitutional...

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