Jacob Zuma, who has been repeatedly identified as responsible for abetting the looting of state funds during his nine years in South Africa, was sentenced on Tuesday. Up to 15 months in prison To defy a court order to testify in a corruption investigation.
The Constitutional Court ruled in January that Zuma He must answer the questions from a judicial panel chaired by Supreme Court Vice President Raymond Zondo, but the 79-year-old former intelligence agent accused the court and Zondo of bias, withdrew from a hearing scheduled in November and boycotted another in February. The authority responded by filing contempt charges against him.
“The Constitutional Court can do more than conclude that Mr. Zuma Guilty of contempt of courtActing President of the Constitutional Court, Sisi Kambibe, said in a ruling issued in Johannesburg on Tuesday. “Mr. Jacob Jedlihelikiza Zuma has been sentenced to 15 months in prison”.
The ruling presents a “success” for President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has made fighting corruption a top priority. While Zuma was imprisoned, He will silence one of his biggest critics It would demonstrate his administration’s commitment to upholding the rule of law, and could also widen divisions within the ruling party and alienate its supporters in the former president’s boycott.
The government estimates that more than 500 billion rand ($35 billion) They were stolen from the state during the Zuma government, and at least 40 witnesses who appeared before Zondo linked the former president to the wave of looting.
Zuma, who was forced to resign by the ruling party in 2018 to stop losing electoral support, has denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations against him were part of a smear campaign.
Zuma was not present for Tuesday’s ruling. You have five days to inform the authorities.
In the event that Zuma fails to deliver, Police must “take all necessary measures” To make sure he is handed over to prison to begin serving his sentence, Campebe explained.