Fomer South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, has defied Court to surrender himself to start a 15-month jail term for contempt, said Sunday he would not be doing so by the court-set deadline.
“No need for me to go to jail today,” he told journalists at his Nkandla homestead in Kwa-Zulu Natal province, where hundreds of his supporters are camped outside in solidarity.
“They cannot accept papers and expect me to go to jail,” he said, referring to his legal challenge of the sentence.’’, Zuma said, referring to his legal challenge of the sentence.
“Sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic, at my age, is the same as sentencing me to death,” he added.
Earlier, the former president, 79, had told supporters his “constitutional rights were abused” by judges of the country constitutional court.
He and his legal team had written to the court to plead their case that the sentencing had been wrong, in a bid to either reduce it our strike it out entirely, he added.
South Africa’s highest court ordered the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma, the country’s former president, for 15 months on contempt charges, after he defied an order to appear before a corruption inquiry examining the breathtaking financial scandals that tainted his tenure as the country’s leader from 2009 to 2018.
The court ordered the 79-year-old Zuma earlier this year to appear before a special inquiry investigating wide-ranging allegations of looting of state-owned businesses and government departments during his nine-year tenure between 2009 and 2018. Many of the allegations involve the brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, who were close with Zuma.
“When I saw the police here I wondered ‘how will they get to me, how will they get through all these people?’,” Zuma said earlier as he continued to mock South African authorities.
Zuma’s supporters have vowed to render South Africa ungovernable if he is jailed.