By now the “State Capture Commission drama” surrounding the former President of the RSA, is general knowledge worldwide.

Accordingly, Pollex wants to highlight only two issues. Firstly, the age of Mr Zuma.

In Pollex in Servamus: August 2018 under the heading “Mr Jacob Zuma: Having his day(s) in court”, Pollex referred to the other drama, the so-called “Arms deal drama”, that also surrounds Mr Zuma where Pollex stated that “as we know Mr Zuma it can be expected that his trial (in respect of the ‘Arms deal drama’) will be dragged out”. Pollex further stated that according to Mr Zuma’s profile on the Internet, he was born on 12 April 1942 which made him 76 years old at the time. If one were to assume that this “Arms deal drama” may take five years (or longer) until it is concluded, Mr Zuma will then be ±81 years old.

Pollex then referred to the Supreme Court of Appeal (“the SCA”) judgment of S v Ramoba 2017(2) SACR 353 (SCA) where, in paragraphs [23] and [24], the SCA remarked that “it is generally accepted that a sentence designed to surpass the natural lifespan* of an offender …. ought NOT to be imposed”. (Emphasis added by Pollex.)

Prior to this August 2018 discussion supra, Pollex, in Servamus: February 2018, also referred to the Ramoba judgment supra under the heading “What does it mean to ‘Surpass one’s natural lifespan?’” Pollex admitted at the time that he does not know what it means and remarked that “one wonders whether it has something to do with Psalm 90:10 in the Holy Bible”, whereupon he quoted the said Bible verse which reads: “10. The length of our days is 70 years - or 80, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

This means that at the time of writing this “State Capture Commission drama”, Mr Zuma is now 79 years, which further means that he is “surpassing his ultimate natural lifespan”.

The official reference to the “State Capture Commission drama” referred to supra is, “Secretary of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State v Zuma and Others (CCT52/21) [2021] ZACC18; 2021(9) BCLR 992 (29 June 2021) (CC)” (hereinafter referred to as the “First Zuma v State Capture Commission Concourt judgment)”. This judgment, consisting of 127 pages, was delivered on 29 June 2021 in which the majority judgment of the Constitutional Court (“the Concourt”) sentenced Mr Zuma to 15 months’ incarceration and, inter alia, remarked as follows in paragraph [124] of its judgment, namely that -

“I (the Concourt) have carefully considered, for example, the fact that Mr Zuma is of advanced age which is usually accompanied by the onset of frailties” (no reference to Mr Zuma’s exact age and/or to the Ramoba case and/or to “surpassing one’s natural lifespan”).

So, maybe Pollex was wrong by consulting the Holy Bible for a meaning or explanation of “surpassing one’s natural lifespan”.

Accordingly, let’s wait and see the outcome of the “Arms Deal drama”.

* “Surpass the natural lifespan” is in Afrikaans: “oorskry die natuurlike lewensduur”.

Secondly, in paragraphs [65] and [66] of the majority judgment of the First Zuma v State Capture Commission Concourt judgment, the following is stated:
“[65] However, this is not a conventional criminal trial. And, I emphasise that I am alive and deferential to the jurisprudence of this Court that affirms that ‘a respondent in contempt proceedings … is not an ‘accused person’ as envisioned by section 35 of the Constitution’.


[This is only an extract of an article published in Pollex in Servamus: November 2021. If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what you need to do. Ed.]