CONTEMPT OF COURT

Kenya courts should emulate South Africa

In Summary

• Last week ex-President Jacob Zuma was sent to jail for contempt of court after refusing to testify

• His supporters have been rioting believing that the judiciary is part of a witch hunt by President Cyril Ramaphosa

A man runs after looting a shopping centre during protests following the imprisonment of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, in Katlehong, South Africa, July 12, 2021.
A man runs after looting a shopping centre during protests following the imprisonment of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, in Katlehong, South Africa, July 12, 2021.
Image: REUTERS

Rioting has erupted in South Africa after former President Jacob Zuma started a 15-month jail sentence last week.

Zuma was sent to jail for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a commission of enquiry into corruption while he was President between 2009 and 2017. Ironically he himself set up the commission in the last year of his presidency to clear his name.

Zuma's supporters believe that the judiciary is part of a witch hunt against him by the present President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Unfortunately the demonstrations have turned violent with shots being fired and looting of shops and supermarkets.

Corruption ran out of control during the Zuma presidency with 'state capture' by the Gupta family resulting in the embezzlement of billions of dollars.

If Zuma was not involved, he could have attended court and explained himself. By refusing repeated summons, he was clearly in contempt of court and deserved to be sent to jail – just like any other citizen of South Africa.

Hopefully, the Kenyan judiciary will be able to act as independently and without fear or favour if such a senior figure should come to court here in future.

Quote of the day: "Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)."

Julius Caesar
The Roman general was born on July 13, 100 BC