Jacob Zuma has been jailed by the South African highest court, as the former president is set to spent at least 15 months behind bars.
He was sentenced on contempt charges, after he defied an order to appear before a corruption inquiry examining the breathtaking financial scandals that tainted his tenure as the country’s leader from 2009 to 2018.
“The only appropriate sanction is a direct, unsuspended order of imprisonment” lasting 15 months, the constitutional court said in a judgment on Tuesday.
This is the first time a former president of South Africa has been told to go jail since the end of apartheid. The case was a major test for the judiciary and the inquiry. Zuma “sought to ignore, undermine and in many ways destroy the rule of law altogether,” the court said.
Zuma must turn himself in to police within five days. If he fails to do so, the police must “take all steps necessary” within three days to ensure that he goes to jail, the court said.