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Zuma hands himself over to police to begin sentence

Former president admitted to correctional centre.
A convoy enters the homestead of former South African President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla, South Africa, July 7, 2021. Image: Reuters/Rogan Ward

South African former President Jacob Zuma turned himself in to police on Wednesday to begin 15 months in jail for contempt of court, the culmination of a long legal drama seen as a test of the post-apartheid state’s ability to enforce the rule of law.

Police spokesperson Lirandzu Themba confirmed in a statement that Zuma was in police custody, in compliance with the Constitutional Court judgment.

The Department of Correctional Services said in a separate statement that Zuma was admitted to Estcourt Correctional Centre, about 175 km from his rural homestead in Nkandla in eastern South Africa. Television aired live footage of his motorcade entering the facility.

Read: Sorry Jacob, Gary has already tried that!

Zuma’s jailing more than just a courtroom drama

The court gave Zuma a 15-month jail term last week for defying an instruction earlier in February to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his nine years in power until 2018. The inquiry is led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Police had been instructed to arrest Zuma by the end of Wednesday if he failed to appear at a police station. Hundreds of his supporters, some of them armed with guns, spears and shields, had gathered nearby at his homestead to try to prevent his arrest.

But in the end, the 79-year-old Zuma decided to go quietly.

“President Zuma has decided to comply with the incarceration order,” his foundation said, the first time Zuma’s camp had shown any willingness to cooperate with the court.

It was a remarkable fall for a revered veteran of the African National Congress liberation movement, who was jailed by South Africa’s white minority rulers for his part in its struggle to make everyone equal before the law.

Zuma denies there was widespread corruption under his leadership and he had struck a defiant note on Sunday, lashing out at the judges and launching legal challenges to his arrest.

His lawyers asked the Constitutional Court on Wednesday to suspend its order to the police to arrest him by midnight pending the outcome of his challenge against a jail sentence.

Zuma gave in to pressure to quit and yield to now-President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018. He has since faced inquiries into allegations of corruption dating from his time as president and before.

The Zondo Commission is examining allegations that he allowed three Indian-born businessmen, Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, to plunder state resources and traffic influence over government policy. He and the Gupta brothers, who fled to Dubai after Zuma was ousted, deny any wrongdoing.

Zuma also faces a separate court case relating to a $2 billion arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president. He denies the charges. The former president maintains that he is the victim of a political witch hunt and that Zondo is biased against him.

COMMENTS   13

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You have the right to remain silent! BUT not the ability. I pity the people that follow him. How misguided. But these are the same people whipping through the dumbed-down educational system.

It’s not over until the fat lady sings!
Remember, the Guptas were also arrested and supposedly taken to jail but somehow managed to get their passports, cadge a lift to the airport, board a flight and now live happily ( and freely) in Dubai!
Time will tell.

You guys should Wikapedia this thugs favourite sidekick.

Squadron Leader Niehaus has quite a history, wonder why he is not a cell mate?

This capitulation by Zuma is quite a disappointment. I wanted to see Carl Niehaus and his shameful bunch of cowardly freedom-fighter impersonators and wannabees take on the riot police. I wanted to see that action. I would love to see General Carl, who sold his mother for cash flow, in his isinene, chasing the riot police and the action force out of Nkandla with a spear and a shield. That would have been the Battle of Isandlwana all over again! You go, Carl!

Niehaus has just been arrested

i suppose the Estcourt Correctional Centre will have to be watched with hawk eyes

I don’t like him one bit, but trust me, he will definitely not serve his full sentence. Of that, you can be sure.

Did he not threaten to spill the beans on the rest of the cadres?

Must have been an idle threat if he did not pitch up at the Zondo commission?

Bullies always go down when someone with balls challenges them.

I think this is a seminal moment and it opens the door to take on other ANC heavyweights and to re-intern Zuma on other charges.

Going to interesting to see if the concourt holds firm or backs down next week.

Interested to see if his sons are alive after threatening to die before was arrested. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! A whole family bag of wind!

do we have a photo of him in cuffs or overalls yet?

Who is responsible for the convoy ( cars )? makes one just more depressed!

Pretty sure he has the presedential suite !!!

End of comments.

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