South Africa’s ex-president, Jacob Zuma has asked the nation’s top court to reconsider and rescind its 15-months jail sentence decision for failing to appear before a graft inquiry.
In papers filed on Friday, two days before the expiry of a deadline for him to surrender to police in preparation for imprisonment, Zuma pleaded that the order be “reconsidered and rescinded.”
The Constitutional Court in an unprecedented ruling on Tuesday handed Zuma a 15-month jail term for contempt for defying its order to appear at an inquiry into corruption while he was president.
The former president testified only once at the inquiry into what has become known as “state capture” but then refused to appear subsequently.
The 79-year-old has been given until Sunday to hand himself in to police. Failing that, the police minister must order his arrest within three days and take him to jail to start the sentence.
Zuma, in the documents filed on Friday, said he had been advised “it will not be futile to make one last attempt to invite the Constitutional Court to relook its decision and to merely reassess whether it has acted within the Constitution or, erroneously, beyond the powers vested in the court by the Constitution.”
He cited his “own unstable state of health… it is my physical life that the incarceration order threatens.”
He said it was “no exaggeration to label (the ruling) as cruel and degrading punishment.”