Jacob Zuma was sentenced for defying an instruction to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his administration.
On Wednesday, South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma (2009-2018) handed himself in to police to serve a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court. He was admitted to Estcourt Correctional Center in KwaZulu-Natal province.
On June 29, Zuma was sentenced for defying an instruction to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his administration. The 79-year-old politician considers this investigation, which is known in South Africa as the "State Capture", seeks to destroy his legacy.
Businessmen have been accused of conspiring with politicians to influence the decision-making process while he was in office. However, Zuma has repeatedly stated that he is the victim of a political conspiracy.
The former President ignored the summons, even after the Constitutional Court specified that they were mandatory. This triggered a legal process for contempt, in which he also refused to participate.
On 7 July 21,427 new confirmed cases of #Covid-19 were reported in #SouthAfrica ����#Gauteng is reporting over 73 cases per 100k population, while the #WesternCape and #NorthWest are reporting 31,6 and 30,6 cases per 100k respectively. pic.twitter.com/qYeCadaPw7— Media Hack (@mediahackza) July 8, 2021
Zuma’s sentence sparked an unprecedented legal drama in South Africa, which has never seen a former president imprisoned before. Since last week, his supporters had been guarding his residence in KwaZulu-Natal province and even threatened to confront security forces if they came to arrest him.
After Zuma's lawyers failed to delay his entry into prison, the former president declared that he was prepared to hand himself in. However, he stressed that sending him to jail at his age during the current peak of the COVID-19 pandemic is the same as sentencing him to death.
Last month, this politician pleaded not guilty in a corruption case in which he is being investigated for having taken bribes in an arms purchase worth US$4 billion that happened when he was Deputy President in 1999.