In front of several hundred supporters gathered outside Zuma’s summer residence – a huge building complex in KwaZulu-Natal province – the 79-year-old former president said on Sunday he had done nothing wrong.
– My constitutional rights were violated by the judges of the Constitutional Court.
On Tuesday, the country’s Constitutional Court sentenced Jacob Zuma, who was South Africa’s president between May 2009 and February 2018, to 15 months in prison for defying the court.
The ruling was issued for Zuma’s refusal to appear before a commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption against him.
At the same time, he was given five days to voluntarily appear in court – otherwise, within three days, the police will immediately arrest and detain Zuma.
The five-day deadline expires on Sunday with Jacob Zuma showing no signs of voluntarily giving up. exactly the contrary. During the evening, the former president himself said that he had no such intention.
“There is no reason for me to be imprisoned today,” Zuma told reporters on Sunday evening.
“South Africa is rapidly returning to apartheid,” he said, referring to the country’s once brutal apartheid policy.
This weekend, there were also indications that the Constitutional Court was willing to give him an extra few days to hear arguments on July 12, among other things, that Zuma would run the risk of contracting the virus if he was imprisoned.
“When I saw the police here, I thought how they could get there, how they could cross all these people,” Zuma said earlier in the day in front of his supporters.
And deployed, on Sunday, a large number of police officers in the area around the residence adjacent to the town of Nkandla.
– If Becky Seely (the country’s police minister) comes to arrest Obaba (Zuma), he should start with us, the supporter Lindkohli Mavalala threatened, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, another apparently angry supporter has demanded the resignation of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
From Monday we will work to ensure the impossibility of ruling the country.
Zuma still has strong supporters within the ruling African National Congress and there is great concern that the former liberation movement will now split into different brigades.
Money laundering and extortion
Jacob Zuma is accused of enabling the looting of the state treasury during his time in power. He himself appointed the commission as a way to delve deeper into the culture of bribery in the South African state apparatus.
But when he himself was the subject of the hearings, he only appeared for questioning once, in July 2019. Since then, he has stayed away and offered a series of explanations for the absence.
In a separate lawsuit, Zuma faces charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering in connection with a major arms deal – including the purchase of Sweden’s Jas Gripen plane – in the 1990s.
Zuma, who during this time was the vice president of South Africa, is accused of accepting bribes. The former president denies any wrongdoing.