South Africa’s former president Zuma sentenced to 15 months in prison

2021-06-29 21:26:31
South Africa’s former president Zuma sentenced to 15 months in prison

South Africa's former President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday was sentenced to 15 months in prison by the country’s highest court for failing to appear at a corruption inquiry, and gave him five days to appear before police.

Zuma failed to appear at the inquiry led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in February, and the inquiry's lawyers approached the constitutional court to seek an order for his imprisonment. read more

"He has depleted all his (legal) options because there is no higher court to appeal to. The constitutional court is normally the last stop," Amanda Gouws, a professor of political science at the University of Stellenbosch, said.

"They have finally said 'enough is enough'," she said.

Zuma, 79, was ousted in a move orchestrated by allies of his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in 2018. Since then, he has faced determined legal moves aiming to bring him to book for alleged grand corruption during and before his time in office.

These include the so-called Zondo commission, but also a separate court case relating to a $2 billion arms deal in 1999, when Zuma was deputy president.

The Zondo inquiry is examining allegations of high-level graft involving three Indian-born businessmen, the Gupta brothers, during Zuma's period in power from 2009 to 2018. Zuma denies wrongdoing and has so far not cooperated.

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