Tuesday, May 24, 2022

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    Jacob Zuma, Ex-President Of South Africa Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison

    The former President of South Africa has been sentenced to prison for 15 months for contempt after he refused to show up before a corruption hearing earlier this year.

    Zuma was South Africa’s president for nearly nine years until 2018, was not there to hear the constitutional court’s verdict and punishment.

    The former president was ordered by the judge to surrender within five days.
    If he does not comply, authorities will be ordered to arrest him and transport him to a detention facility, according to Judge Sisi Khampepe.

    In February, Zuma failed to appear before a corruption investigation chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. The investigation is looking at allegations of high-level graft during Zuma’s tenure as president. The veteran lawmaker has denied any wrongdoing and claims Zondo is on a personal vendetta.

    On Tuesday, Khampepe said: “The constitutional court can do nothing but conclude that Mr Zuma is guilty of the crime of contempt of court.”

    She added: “This kind of recalcitrance and defiance is unlawful and will be punished. 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 majority judgment orders an unsuspended sentence of imprisonment for a period [of 15 months].”

    Zuma had “repeatedly reiterated that he would rather be imprisoned than to cooperate with the commission or comply with the order made,” said Khampepe.

    Zuma ordered the corruption probe in response to escalating scandals, just before he was deposed by the ruling African National Congress in 2018. (ANC).

    However, he only testified once, in July 2019, before staging a walkout a few days later.
    He declined multiple offers to testify again, citing medical concerns and preparations for a new corruption prosecution.

    He reappeared shortly in November but disappeared before being questioned.

    In February, Zondo stated that he will seek a constitutional court judgment declaring Zuma in contempt of court and would pursue a jail sentence.

    “This is very serious because if it is allowed to prevail, there will be lawlessness and chaos in the courts. There may be other people who will decide to follow his example when they are served with summons in other court processes,” Zondo said.

    “If the message that is sent out is that people can ignore or disregard summons and orders of courts with impunity, there will be very little that will be left of our democracy.”

    Source: Ghgossip.com

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