South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma has been sentenced to 15 months in prison by the constitutional court in the country for contempt of defying its order to appear at a corruption inquiry while he was president.
Acting Chief Justice, Sisi Khampepe in her ruling said “Mr Zuma refused to come to the court to explain his actions he elected instead to make provocative, unmeritorious and vituperative statements that constituted a calculated effort to impugn the integrity of the judiciary.”
“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.”
The former president made only one appearance at the inquiry led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and refused to appear subsequently having long denied any wrongdoing.
The inquiry is examining high-level corruption and graft allegations during Zuma’s time in power between 2009 and 2018. Businessmen were accused of conspiring with politicians to influence the decision-making process.
Zuma has now been given five days to present himself to police in order to be arrested. If he fails to do that the police minister must order his arrest.