September 30, 2022

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South Africa: Jacob Zuma has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of justice

Following his refusal to appear before the Anti-Corruption Commission, the South African Constitutional Court sentenced former President Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison and ordered him to surrender “within 5 days”.

Judge CC Combe said the Supreme Court, which was seized by the Anti-Corruption Commission, handed down the verdict “by its majority members”.

“The Constitutional Court has no choice but to convict Mr Zuma of contempt of court,” the magistrate announced before sentencing.

“This kind of reluctance and protest is illegal and will be punished,” Ms Combe said. “I have no choice but to imprison Mr. Zuma in the hope that this will send a clear message (…) that the rule of law and the administration of justice will prevail.”

Since the formation in 2018 of the Commission responsible for investigating widespread corruption during the nine years of his rule, Mr. Zuma, who has already been implicated by some forty witnesses, hastened to avoid accumulating appeals or asserting their rights without explaining himself. ம .னம்.

Following another summons that he did not appear in late February, the commission sought a two-year prison sentence against the former head of state. Not only did the former president ignore the commission this time, but a decision issued by the court in January forced him to appear and deprived him of the right to remain silent.

At a virtual hearing in March, the commission’s attorney, Tembeca Nguyen, said the former president should go to jail but there was no question of “how long he should stay there.” He emphasized that the letter was not a signal of a formal antitrust inquiry into Mr Zuma’s actions.

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A few weeks later, in an extraordinary request, the South African judiciary awaited Tuesday’s hearing and asked the former president to determine if he was “appropriately permitted.”

Jacob Zuma, 79, testified only once before the Anti-Corruption Commission in July 2019. He quickly knocked on the door, accusing her of being considered an “accused.”

Trapped in corruption, he was forced to resign in 2018. He was replaced by incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa, who turned the fight against corruption into a laborious one, but he was called to testify before the commission.

LNT avec Afp