Former South African President Defies Authorities
After being sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court, former South African President refuses to turn himself in.
Former South African President Jacob Zuma, 79, refused on Sunday to surrender turn himself in, hours before a court deadline expired.
"There is no need for me to go to jail today," Zuma said from his stronghold in eastern KwaZulu-Natal.
He added, "The fact that I was lambasted with a punitive jail sentence without trial should engender shock in all those who believe in freedom and the rule of law."
The former national hero further commented on his sentence, saying that "sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic at my age is the same as sentencing me to death.”
Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court, after repeatedly refusing to testify before corruption investigators.
But the court agreed last Saturday to consider his appeal to overturn the prison sentence, in a maneuver to avoid being put behind bars, at least until the date of the new hearing on July 12.
Despite this, constitutional law experts emphasized that appointing a new session does not override the ruling of the Constitutional Court.
The former President had denounced, before a crowd of supporters that gathered in the vicinity of his house in Nkandla, the "violation of his rights" by the judges who sentenced him.
Furthemore, his supporters have vowed to make South Africa "ungovernable" if he is imprisoned.