South Africa’s constitutional court has agreed to hear South African President Jacob Zuma’s petition to the order’s revocation after he was sentenced to 15 months in jail on contempt charges.
After Zuma refused to appear in a corruption investigation conducted by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the court sentenced him to prison on Tuesday. He not only failed to appear in court to testify, but he also completely ignored the court’s contempt procedures.
Zuma was given till Sunday to present himself in, after which police would be forced to arrest him. Instead, the court decided on Saturday to hear his application on July 12.
Zuma and his lawyers argued that “the sentence threatened his life and that the Constitutional Court’s decision was unfair to their client,” according to CNN. Legal analysts say the application is unlikely to succeed but will buy Zuma more time.
On Saturday, Zuma supporters gathered outside his residence. They would go to war if Zuma was caught, according to one admirer.
“He ignored [the opportunities],” Al Jazeera journalist Fahmida Miller remarked. “And now it seems just a day before he is supposed to hand himself over he is willing to talk to the Constitutional Court.”
On June 29, Zuma became the first South African leader to be sentenced to jail. The corruption enquiry is looking at numerous incidents that happened between 2009 and 2018 under Zuma’s presidency.
He has pleaded not guilty to corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering charges and has said the inquiry is politically motivated.