Top court upholds South Africa ex-president’s jail sentence

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s highest court yesterday denied an application by former president Jacob Zuma to rescind his sentence of 15 months in jail for contempt of court.

The Constitutional Court judgement upheld its earlier ruling that Zuma should go to prison for refusing to testify at a commission of inquiry into widespread corruption in government and at state-owned companies while he was president of South Africa from 2009-2018.

Zuma was jailed in July but has since been granted medical parole for an undisclosed illness. His release has been questioned by opposition parties who said procedure wasn’t followed.

Yesterday’s judgement was read out by Justice Sisi Khampepe at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.

She said it was a majority decision of 7-2 judges to uphold Zuma’s sentence. The judgement doesn’t affect Zuma’s parole.

The 79-year-old Zuma argued his sentence was improper because, among other things, he had been jailed without trial.

Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma. PHOTO: AP