South African Court Rejects Zuma’s Plea to Overturn Sentence

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s highest court docket on Friday rejected an enchantment to throw out the jail sentence of Jacob Zuma, the previous president who was jailed for refusing to seem earlier than a fee investigating corruption accusations that tainted his tenure because the nation’s chief.

Mr. Zuma’s arrest was hailed as a victory for South Africa’s younger democracy, an indication that not even a former head of state was above the regulation. It was additionally a sign from President Cyril Ramaphosa that his administration would deal decisively with corruption.

Mr. Zuma, 79, was launched on medical parole final week, after serving a fraction of his 15-month jail time period, a lot of which was spent within the jail’s medical ward.

However the court docket on Friday rejected his enchantment to have the jail sentence overturned. Regardless of what it referred to as Mr. Zuma’s “inventive makes an attempt” to show his case, the Constitutional Courtroom discovered his arrest was warranted.

“To his peril, Mr. Zuma declined to take part within the contempt proceedings and disdainfully dismissed additional alternative when invited to take action,” mentioned Justice Sisi Khampepe, as she learn the court docket’s majority determination.

Mr. Zuma has maintained his innocence and decried the court docket’s determination to position him underneath arrest, claiming with out proof that he was the sufferer of a political conspiracy.

Mr. Zuma was taken into custody on July 7, handing himself over to authorities minutes earlier than a midnight deadline.

Whereas Mr. Zuma’s tenure as president from 2009 to 2018 was marked by scandal and mismanagement, he stays beloved in some corners of the nation, notably his dwelling province, KwaZulu-Natal.

His arrest set off a wave of violence, with rampant looting and arson. Greater than 300 individuals had been killed within the tumult, in response to the authorities.

The unrest mirrored deeper public anger over staggering earnings inequality, a sputtering economic system and widespread unemployment.

The case in opposition to Mr. Zuma additionally uncovered deep divisions inside his occasion, the African Nationwide Congress, which has dominated the nation since apartheid fell in 1994.

His arrest capped the gorgeous downfall of the once-lauded freedom fighter who fought alongside Nelson Mandela.

On the eve of his imprisonment, Mr. Zuma’s attorneys filed an pressing software to rescind the constitutional court docket’s decision to jail him for contempt of court docket.

In his plea, Mr. Zuma mentioned he didn’t have the monetary sources to deal with the authorized challenges introduced by the inquiry and selected as a substitute to give attention to the felony trial that he’s additionally going through. Mr. Zuma is being prosecuted on fees of racketeering, corruption, fraud and cash laundering after being accused of taking bribes from a French arms producer when he was deputy president in 1999. That case continues on Sept. 22.

In searching for to keep away from jail, Mr. Zuma cited his ill-health and the menace posed by the coronavirus in jail.

Mr. Zuma was released on medical parole on Sept. 5, with the federal government’s division of correctional companies saying it was “impelled by a medical report,” nevertheless it supplied no particulars concerning the nature of his sickness.

Whereas the Medical Parole Advisory Board didn’t approve Mr. Zuma’s parole, the nationwide commissioner of correctional companies told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that he personally accredited Mr. Zuma’s launch, overriding the board’s view that the previous president was in steady situation and match to proceed his incarceration. | South African Courtroom Rejects Zuma’s Plea to Overturn Sentence


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