You’re Worse Than Apartheid Rulers: Defiant Jacob Zuma Goes Bare Nuckles With Judges, Vows To Appeal The 15 Months Jail Sentence

You’re Worse Than Apartheid Rulers: Defiant Jacob Zuma Goes Bare Nuckles With Judges, Vows To Appeal The 15 Months Jail Sentence

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By Spy Uganda Correspondent 

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has told hundreds of his supporters he is appealing a 15-month prison sentence and lashed out at the judges who issued the ruling, comparing them with the white minority apartheid rulers he once fought.

South Africa’s top court, the Constitutional Court last week sentenced Zuma to 15 months in prison for defying a court order that he should testify before a commission investigating allegations of rampant corruption when he was president from 2009 to 2018.

Several witnesses including former Cabinet ministers and top executives of state-owned corporations have testified of Zuma’s wrongdoing including allowing his associates, the Gupta family to influence his Cabinet appointments and lucrative state contracts.

A deadline for Zuma to turn himself into authorities was set for midnight on Sunday (22:00 GMT). The court later agreed to hear his challenge to the 15-month sentence.

Zuma spoke at his home in Nkandla in a rural part of KwaZulu-Natal province where hundreds of his supporters, some of them armed were gathered to prevent his arrest.

“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, I’m not asking for sympathy, but justice. At my age and health condition and any other mitigating circumstances were not considered when the imprisonment was decided”, Zuma said.

“Sending me to jail during the height of a pandemic at my age is the same as sentencing me to death, South Africa is fast sliding back to apartheid rule” he added

Supporters said this is an attack on the former president because of what he stood up for and that he is being vilified.

According to reports, the crowds of people come and go but they will likely continue to show support outside his residency to prevent his arrest.

Zuma later thanked the supporters for coming out, saying that he draws strength from their presence and without them, he would have been arrested, and with them here he is defended.

Zuma has launched several court actions to avoid imprisonment. On Friday, he filed an application with the Constitutional Court to rescind his sentence which the court will hear on July 12.

“We have written to the Constitutional Court and applied that this sentence be rescinded or reduced and we have now been given a date to go and state our case,” said Zuma.

On Tuesday Zuma will apply for an interdict to stop the police from arresting him, his foundation has announced. Zuma’s supporters say they want the sentence to be dropped completely.

Over the weekend, the ruling African National Congress sent representatives to speak with Zuma at his home.

The party could face a serious political crisis between those who back Zuma and others loyal to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa who campaigned on a pledge to fight corruption.

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