• Sun. Aug 1st, 2021

South African court to hear ex-president’s jailing appeal

ByAmeerah O'Connor

Jul 4, 2021
South African court to hear ex-president's jailing appeal

Former President Zuma has denied the corruption charges against him, saying they’re politically motivated

South Africa’s highest court has agreed to hear former President Jacob Zuma’s application to have a 15-month jail sentence rescinded.

On Tuesday the Constitutional Court found him guilty of contempt for defying its order to appear at an inquiry into corruption.

Mr Zuma was given until midnight on Sunday to hand himself in.

It is unclear whether the court’s agreement to hear the challenge against its own decision affects the deadline.

The Constitutional court said it received Mr Zuma’s appeal application on Friday and would consider the case on 12 July.

In the meantime, the Jacob Zuma Foundation, the former president’s charity, said an appeal against the arrest order would be heard by the high court of KwaZulu-Natal province on Tuesday.

The 79-year-old was ousted in 2018, after nine years in power, amid corruption allegations.

Businessmen were accused of conspiring with politicians to influence the decision-making process.

But Mr Zuma has repeatedly said that he is the victim of a political conspiracy. He has also refused to co-operate with investigations into wrongdoing during his tenure.

The former president testified only once at the inquiry into what has become known as “state capture” but then refused to appear subsequently.

Supporters dance in front of former South African president Jacob Zuma's rural home in Nkandla on July 3, 2021

Crowds of Zuma supporters have gathered outside rural home in Nkandla this week

In a separate legal matter, Mr Zuma pleaded not guilty last month in his corruption trial involving a $5bn (£3bn) arms deal from the 1990s.

Crowds of supporters have gathered outside his home in KwaZulu-Natal province – many hoping to ensure he stays out of prison.

Political tensions have been rising in South Africa this week, with members of a military veterans’ association threatening that the country would be destabilised if Mr Zuma was apprehended.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, which Mr Zuma used to lead, has called for calm. But fearing a showdown with Zuma loyalists, it postponed a meeting of its national executive committee this weekend.

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