The former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has stated that south Africa is fast sliding back to Apartheid rule.
79-year-old Zuma who spoke at his homestead in Nklandla, in a rural part of Kwazulu Natal province, where hundreds of his supporters, some of them armed, were gathered to prevent his arrest, criticized the judges who sentenced him to 15-months in jail, for absconding from a corruption inquiry, comparing them to the ‘white minority apartheid rulers’ he once fought.
He said “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 Constitutional Court sentenced the former president on the 29th of June 2021, for failing to appear at a hearing in February for the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, led by Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo.
Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court, on Saturday, agreed to hear his challenge to the jail term, suspending it until after a hearing on July 12.
The sentence was seen as a sign of just how far Zuma, once revered as a veteran of the struggle against white minority rule, has fallen since embarking on a presidency beset by multiple sleaze and graft scandals between 2009 and 2018.
The former president’s legal woes have divided the ruling ‘African National Congress’ between his camp and that of his successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Zuma has since faced inquiries into allegations of corruption, dating from his time as president and before.
The Zondo Commission is examining allegations that he allowed three Indian-born businessmen, Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, to plunder state resources and traffic influence over government policy.
He and the Gupta brothers, who fled to Dubai after Zuma was ousted, deny any wrongdoing.
The former president also faces a separate court case relating to a $2 billion arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president.