South Africa jails ex-President Zuma 15 months for failing to attend corruption inquiry

Zuma has been ordered to turn himself in to authorities within five days.

Former South African president, Jacob Zuma, has been found guilty of contempt of court [AFP]

The Constitutional Court of South Africa has sentenced former President Jacob Zuma to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of court.

Justice Sisi Khampepe on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 found the 79-year-old guilty of defying the court's order to appear at a corruption inquiry probing his conduct as president.

Zuma's tenure as president between 2009 and 2018 was dogged by numerous corruption allegations involving many of his associates whom he allegedly allowed to plunder the nation's resources for private benefits.

He was forced out of office over the allegations, and an inquiry, led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, was set up to probe allegations of high-level graft during his tenure.

Zuma attended the inquiry last year, but walked out of proceedings without permission, and has since refused to obey summons or a ruling of the Constitutional Court to appear.

"I am left with no option but to commit Mr Zuma to imprisonment, with the hope that doing so sends an unequivocal message...the rule of law and the administration of justice prevails," Justice Khampepe said in Tuesday's ruling.

She accused Zuma of deliberately making provocative, unmeritorious, and abusive statements in a calculated effort to damage the integrity of the judiciary.

The convict was not in court for the ruling, but was ordered to turn himself in to authorities within five days.

Zuma has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and accused the Zondo-led inquiry of pursuing a political agenda against him.


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