Former president Jacob Zuma remained in jail Tuesday as police and soldiers battled looters in various parts of South Africa.
The #Free Zuma protests started on Friday and morphed into looting sprees at shopping centres. Police have arrested more than 500 suspects for looting and public violence.
On Monday Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Dali Mpofu argued for rescission for his 79-year-old client.
Zuma is on the 5th day of his 15-month incarceration for contempt of court. He could be released on parole after serving a quarter of his sentence – just under four months.
More soldiers were seen on Tuesday at shopping malls where hoards have been brazenly looting shops.
The looters had been seen carrying away stolen groceries, clothes, mattresses, electrical gadgets including freezers and flat-screen televisions.
During the virtual hearing to seek rescission of Zuma’s prison term, Mpofu steered clear of the #Free Zuma protests.
The Constitutional Court, which slapped Zuma with the sentence for refusing to return to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, granted him a hearing.
Advocate Mpofu said Zuma’s rights had been limited or violated when the court imposed direct imprisonment without trial.
He argued that his client had a right to seek recusal of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo from the commission because he perceived that he was biased.
Advocate Mpofu said the ConCourt was in its right to correct an error it had made in sentencing Zuma to direct imprisonment.
Hearing the request for rescission of the sentence was; Justice Khampepe, Justice Tishiqi, Justice Madlanga, Justice Madjiet, Justice Mhlantla, Justice Theron, Justice Tlaletsi, Justice Jafta, and Justice Pillay.
While the arguments went on, the former president remained locked up in the Escourt Correctional Centre hospital section on Monday.
Zuma has access to television in prison.
Defending Zuma’s jailing, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi for the commission insisted the Concourt was right. It was the commission that took the matter to the Concourt resulting in former president being jailed.
Advocate Ngcukaitobi said the ConCourt was the final arbiter and its decisions were final and should not be reversed.
Advocate Michelle le Roux for the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution asked the ConCourt to affirm that it is the final word, affirm that only in limited circumstances will it consider rescission, make clear those circumstances, and affirm finality.
As the matter was adjourned, Zuma remained in jail and the looting continued.