South Africa’s Constitutional Court sentenced former President Jacob Zuma to fifteen months in jail for contempt of court docket following his failure to look at a corruption inquiry earlier this yr.
Zuma didn’t seem on the inquiry led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in February, after which the inquiry’s attorneys approached the court docket to hunt an order for his imprisonment.
“The Constitutional Court can do nothing however conclude that Mr Zuma is responsible of the crime of contempt of court docket,” decide Sisi Khampepe stated on Tuesday.
Zuma, 79, is accused of enabling the plunder of state coffers throughout his practically nine-year stint in workplace.
“This type of recalcitrance and defiance is illegal and shall be punished,” Khampepe stated.
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“I’m left with no choice however to commit Mr Zuma to imprisonment, with the hope that doing so sends an unequivocal message … the rule of legislation and the administration of justice prevails.
“The majority judgement orders an unsuspended sentence of imprisonment for a interval [of 15 months],” she declared, ordering Zuma handy himself over inside 5 days.
A spokesman for Zuma instructed South Africa’s eNCA tv channel the previous president would subject a press release later, with out elaborating.
The fee of inquiry was arrange by Zuma himself, underneath strain over mounting scandals, shortly earlier than he was eliminated in 2018 by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
But he testified solely as soon as, in July 2019, earlier than staging a walkout days later and accusing the fee’s Zondo of bias.
He then ignored a number of invites to reappear, citing medical causes and preparations for one more corruption trial.
He offered himself once more briefly in November however left earlier than questioning, and Zondo requested the Constitutional Court to intervene.
Most of the corruption circumstances investigated by the fee contain three brothers from a rich Indian enterprise household, the Guptas, who gained profitable authorities contracts and had been allegedly even ready to decide on cupboard ministers.
Zuma is individually going through 16 costs of fraud, corruption and racketeering regarding a 1999 buy of fighter jets, patrol boats and navy gear from 5 European arms corporations for 30 billion rands, then the equal of practically $5bn.
At the time of the acquisition, Zuma was then-President Thabo Mbeki’s deputy.