Nelson Mandela Foundation

Media Statement: Nelson Mandela Foundation welcomes Mr Zuma submitting himself to law enforcement

From: Nelson Mandela Foundation

Date of Publication: 8 July 2021

The Nelson Mandela Foundation welcomes the fact that former President Jacob Zuma has submitted himself to law enforcement in partial compliance with the order of the Constitutional Court handed down last week. However, we note that Mr Zuma failed to abide by the deadline set by the Constitutional Court, thus continuing a pattern of disregard for the rule of law and for our constitutional democracy.

As the recent judgment given by Justice Sisi Khampepe stated: “Never before has the authority and legitimacy of the Constitutional Court been subjected to the kind of attacks that Mr Zuma has elected to launch against it and its members. Never before has the judicial process been so threatened.”

For nearly two decades now Mr Zuma has acted with impunity, and has encouraged cultures of impunity around him. As Sisonke Msimang has noted, “The thing about toxic masculinity is that it weaponises impunity. So, lying in the face of the nation IS the point. [Mr Zuma] and his spinners don’t expect anyone to believe them. They want us to know they don’t care.” His legal strategy has been one of obfuscation and delay, ultimately in an attempt to render our judicial processes unintelligible.

We are profoundly disturbed by the willingness of Mr Zuma to court public violence and lawlessness in support of political and personal agendas. The scholarship of Mbongiseni Buthelezi has deconstructed the ways in which Mr Zuma mobilises both struggle era identities and ethnic identities for his own ends. This is extremely dangerous in the contexts of a country where the rule of law is under siege at so many levels.

It is tempting to regard Mr Zuma’s arrest as the end of the road. But this is merely another phase in what we believe will be a long and fraught journey. The patterns and the dangers are clear. It is vital that Mr Zuma and his supporters be held accountable every step of the way.


Media Enquiries

Kneo Mokgopa
Manager: Communications & Advocacy
Nelson Mandela Foundation
+27 (0)76 420 1910