South Africa's top court,condemned ex-President Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s top court has condemned ex-President Jacob Zuma

The country’s top court has sentenced South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison. He has been given five days to surrender to the authorities. If that fails, the police minister will have to order his arrest.

The sentencing comes after he was found guilty of contempt by the Constitutional Court for refusing to attend at a corruption investigation while president.

Mr Zuma’s presidency, which ended in 2018, was marred by charges of graft. Businessmen have been accused of collaborating with politicians to sway policy decisions.

The former president only testified once at the investigation into what has come to be known as “state capture,” and then declined to testify again. The Constitutional Court was requested to intervene by the inquiry, which was led by Justice Raymond Zondo.

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Acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe’s decision was harsh. She claimed that Mr Zuma failed to appear in court to explain his actions, instead choosing to make “provocative, unmeritorious, and vituperative utterances that constituted a planned effort to impugn the judiciary’s credibility.”

“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 was not present in court to hear the majority decision, despite his claims that he was the victim of a massive political scheme. Mr Zuma pleaded not guilty last month in a corruption trial involving a $5 billion (£3 billion) arms sale from the 1990s.