Monday, October 3, 2022
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South Africa: Zuma To Get Jail Term for Dishonouring Court Summon

Former South African President, Jacob Zuma, is set to face a jail term, after failing to appear before a court on Monday for his trial on corruption allegations while in office.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who leads the inquiry, said there was “no valid or sound reason” for Zuma’s failure to appear before the inquiry, which is probing allegations of high-level fraud during his period in power from 2009 to 2018.

“The commission will make an application to the Constitutional Court, which is the court that made the order that Mr Zuma has defied, and seek an order that Mr Zuma is guilty of contempt of court,” Zondo said.

He said it was up to the Constitutional Court, the highest in the land,to decide what to do about Zuma, with options including a fine or prison.

Zuma said he believed that Justice Zondo was biased against him. He previously asked the judge to step down as chair of the inquiry, but Justice Zondo rejected the request and said he was doing his job impartially.

At least 40 witnesses have implicated Zuma in corruption. Among the allegations against him is that during his term in office, he allowed the wealthy Gupta family to plunder state resources and to influence policy and cabinet appointments.

The 79-year-old Zuma denies wrongdoing but has not cooperated with the commission of inquiry. He was removed from office by the governing African National Congress (ANC) in 2018, in a move orchestrated by allies of his successor Cyril Ramaphosa.

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