Former South African President Jacob Zuma Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison for contempt in $35 billion corruption trial

Jacob Zuma, a former president of South Africa, has been jailed for contempt in a $35 billion corruption trial.

Mr Zuma  had been been implicated in aiding and abetting the stealing of state funds during the nine years he led South Africa.

On Tuesday morning, June 29, 2021, a court in Johannesburg, South Africa, sentenced him to 15 months in jail for defying a court order to testify at a graft inquiry.

The Constitutional Court had ruled in January this year that Mr Zuma had to respond to questions from a judicial commission headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

But Mr Zuma refused to appear before the court.

The 79-year-old intelligence operative had accused the court of bias.

Mr Zuma ruled South Africa on the ticket of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

The operative walked out of the judicial panel hearing in November and February.

The panel then filed contempt charges against him.

Ruling on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Johannesburg, acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe noted that “This sends an unequivocal message in this our constitutional dispensation, the rule of law and the administration of justice prevails.”

The South African government believes over 500 billion rand ($35 billion) was stolen from the state during Zuma’s rule, and at least 40 witnesses who’ve appeared before Zondo linked the ex-president to the looting spree. Zuma, who the ruling party forced to quit in 2018 to stem a loss of electoral support, has denied wrongdoing and says the allegations against him are part of a smear campaign.

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