South African former president Jacob Zuma is currently avoiding jail. Zuma was sentenced last Tuesday to 15 months in prison for contempt of court – in the context of a corruption case – but he has not yet been charged. The Supreme Court will consider his request for annulment on July 12 and he will remain free until the decision, South African media and international news agencies reported on Saturday.
The court has sent out a letter about the progress of the Zuma case. The former head of state is in poor health, his lawyers fear that he would not survive the prison. He is therefore entitled to a review of his case. That case revolves around allegations of corruption that Zuma was involved in during his nine years as president. For example, as president he would have made deals with business people he knew, and personal acquaintances also influenced the appointment of ministers.
Zuma himself denies the charges, although he resigned in 2018 due to corruption scandals. Interestingly, as president, he set up the anti-corruption commission, which he subsequently ignored. Only once did he show up to a hearing. The unconditional sentence that the Constitutional Court imposed on him on Tuesday was therefore for contempt of court. Zuma was absent.
Read more about the importance of Zuma’s punishment: No one in South Africa is above the law. Not even Jacob Zuma. He’s going to jail
According to the South African channel News24 On Saturday, several authorities had to consider the request of Zuma’s lawyers not to carry out the sentence yet. Another hearing on the suspension or postponement was scheduled to take place next week, at least until the Court hears the entire case. The police had already promised not to arrest him on Sunday, which was actually the latest day on which he had to turn himself in.