File: Former president Jacob Zuma. AFP/Kim Ludbrook

THE State Capture Commission announced on Monday it intended to lay contempt charges against former President Jacob Zuma in the Constitutional Court.

The commission filed its urgent application to the apex court on Monday.

The commission wants Zuma jailed for two years and wants Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole to make the arrest.

In Monday’s papers, the secretary of the commission is the applicant, and the respondents are Zuma, the minister of police, and the national commissioner of police.

The commission’s secretary, Professor Itumeleng Mosala, said the former head of state intentionally and unlawfully failed to appear before the commission. 

The inquiry is examining allegations of high-level graft during Zuma’s period in power from 2009 to 2018.

Zuma denies wrongdoing and has not cooperated with the inquiry. His no-show last week came despite the inquiry summoning him to appear and the constitutional court directing him to comply with that summons and give testimony.

Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza was not available when called by Reuters seeking comment.

The allegations against Zuma include that he allowed businessmen close to him – brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta – to plunder state resources and influence policy.

The Guptas, who also deny wrongdoing, left South Africa after Zuma was ousted in a move orchestrated by allies of his successor Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa has been trying to restore investor confidence in Africa’s most industrialised nation. However, he has faced opposition from a faction within the governing African National Congress party that is still loyal to Zuma.

(Source: Inside Politics)

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