Ex-President Zuma sentenced to 15 months in jail

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been sentenced to serve jail time by the country’s highest court.

According to the reports, Zuma was sentenced to serve 15 months after being found guilty of contempt of court.

This sends an unequivocal message in this constitutional dispensation, the rule of law and the administration of justice prevails,” acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe said in a ruling in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

He defied the court's order to appear at an inquiry into corruption while he was president.

The State Capture Commission was established in 2018, shortly before Zuma stepped down as the head of state.

The inquiry was headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and was investigating corruption during Zuma’s nine-year rule.

The former president attended one session and walked out during the session in November.

He boycotted another in February and the panel responded by filing contempt charges against him.

It is estimated that Sh 3.7 trillion was lost to graft during the nine years that Zuma was in power.

The prosecution lined up 40 witnesses who linked the former president to corruption, but in his defence, Zuma said the allegations were false and part of a smear campaign against him.

The constitutional court asked the prosecution whether they would prefer the imposition of fine on Zuma over a prison sentence, and the commission’s lawyer argued that a fine would not achieve the desired result.

Zuma resigned in 2018 amid pressure from his own ruling party, the African National Congress party over multiple accusations of corruption.

In a televised statement he said he was quitting with immediate effect but said he disagreed with his ANC party's decision.

"No life should be lost in my name and also the ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic with immediate effect," he said.

"Even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organisation, I have always been a disciplined member of the ANC.

"As I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organisation I have served... all of my life," he added.

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