Former President Jacob Zuma says 15 Months in Prison Is Like a Death Sentence

Former President Jacob Zuma says 15 Months in Prison Is Like a Death Sentence

  • Former President Jacob Zuma says sending him to prison at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic is like sentence someone his age to death
  • Zuma said if deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo had recused himself from the commission, he would have testified at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry
  • Zuma addressed thousands of supporters protesting his sentence outside his Nkandla home and stated he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing

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Former South African President Jacob Zuma has compared the Constitutional Court's 15-month term to a death sentence.

Speaking at a press conference at his home at Nkandla on Sunday, Zuma said that sending him to jail at the height of the coronavirus is essentially a death sentence for someone his age, according to EWN.

Former President Jacob Zuma, Death Sentence, Constitutional Court, Nkandla
Addressing journalists at his home in Nkandla, former President Jacob Zuma said sending him to prison during a pandemic is a death sentence. Images: Gulshan Khan & Phill Magakoe/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

This comes after thousands of Zuma supporters gathered outside his home to protest the Constitutional Court's decision to sentence him to 15 months in prison for being in contempt of court. According to SABC News, protesters were in contravention of lockdown regulations and did not wear masks.

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When asked why he addressed protestors without wearing a mask if one of his concerns about going to prisons during the pandemic, Jacob Zuma's foundation spokesperson Mzwandile Manyi allured that Zuma has a medical condition.

"So the fact that the president is not wearing a mask might very well be a medical condition which is a confidential condition, which he can't disclose here," he said in a quote by EWN.

Speaking to his supporters outside his home, Zuma said he was unaware of any wrongdoing on his part despite the Constitutional Court's clear ruling. He added that he had been effectively sentenced without a trial.

This is despite Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng having given Zuma the opportunity to submit an affidavit stating what he thought a suitable sentence would be if he were found guilty of being in contempt. Zuma opted not to submit an affidavit but instead wrote a letter to Mogoeng stating why he would not be submitting the affidavit, according to SABC News.

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Zuma also stated that one of his contentions was that deputy justice Raymond Zondo was biased against him and therefore has a conflict of interest. He further stated that had Zondo recused himself South Africa would have had an opportunity to hear his version of events.

The Constitutional Court agreed on Saturday to hear Zuma's application of recession of his sentence on 12 July.

Zuma believes that he is being unfairly treated by the judiciary

In a previous report by Briefly News, Jacob Zuma called the mainstream narrative "propaganda" and said that he had never refused to stand before the State Capture Commission.

Zuma said that his past relationship with Judge Zondo made him feel that the judge was treating him unfairly and with bias. He also said that the commission should not be called the Zondo Commission because if something happened to him the commission would remain.

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Zuma also said that if Zondo was not neutral and he felt that he could not appear before a man he had accused of bias and of having a conflict of interest.

The matter is being discussed in court. Zuma said that if Zondo recused himself, he would have been prepared to make his submission to a neutral party. All Zuma wants is fairness and consistency.

"All I am asking for is fairness and consistency. Jacob Zuma is not the only person to have a reason not to appear before the commission. I must not be understood to be condoning any acts or conduct that seeks to deliberately frustrate the objectives of the commission."

The former president said that he was worried that the country was sliding back towards apartheid-style laws.

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Source: Briefly News

Lebogang Mashego avatar

Lebogang Mashego (Current Affairs HOD) Lebogang Mashego runs the Current Affairs desk. She joined the Briefly News team in 2021. She has 6 years of experience in the journalism field. Her journalism career started while studying at Rhodes University, where she worked for the Oppidan Press for 3 years. She worked as a lifestyle writer and editor at W24 and Opera News. She graduated with a BA degree majoring in Journalism and Media Studies in 2017. She's a recipient of the INMA Elevate Scholarship. Email: