S/African political parties react to Zuma’s imprisonment

South Africa's main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party said the rule of law had prevailed in the country on Thursday,…

South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party said the rule of law had prevailed in the country on Thursday, with the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma to serve his 15-month sentence given by the Constitutional Court for contempt of court.Reacting to the news that the former president had handed himself to the police, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the arrest of Zuma showed that all citizens were equal before the law.  

If Zuma had not been arrested, the country would have “been in a constitutional crisis,” he said.

“Mr. Zuma still has got a long road ahead of him. I think there must be some senior politicians in the governing party who are looking at the events in the last 48 hours with some concern,” Steenhuisen said.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for defying a Constitutional Court order to testify before the State Commission into State Capture, which is probing allegations of high-level corruption during his tenure as president between 2008 and 2018.

The former president has refused to appear before the commission, alleging that the commission’s head, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, is biased against him.

African National Congress (ANC) Veterans League president Snuki Zikalala said Zuma’s imprisonment “was good for democracy and the rule of law.”

Zikalala said it was unfortunate that Zuma, at some stage, had decided to disobey the rule of law.

“It sends a very strong signal with the coming in of local government elections. The ANC itself has embarked on a cleansing process. Candidates are going to have no criminal records,” Zikalala said.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa also commended Zuma, saying this was a lesson to other leaders for handing themselves over to the authorities.

“Good for former president Zuma. He’s done the right thing. Let’s wait for Monday on what’s next,” Holomisa said.

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