2021: The Year Former President Jacob Zuma Was Sent to Prison Twice By 2 Different Courts

2021: The Year Former President Jacob Zuma Was Sent to Prison Twice By 2 Different Courts

  • Former President Jacob Zuma made history in 2021 by becoming the first democratically elected former statesman to be sent to prison
  • Msholozi found himself in hot water after he made the decision to defy court orders that compelled him to appear before the Zondo Commission
  • Zuma managed to get an early release from prison in September, however, his medical parole was later revoked in December

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JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma has had a tough year of losing multiple legal battles to the surprise of his many staunch supporters who believe that the legal system has a vendetta against him.

He made South African history when he became the very first democratic former president to be sent to prison.

Msholozi's standoff with the courts began in early 2021 when he made the decision not to appear before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry to testify.

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Former President Jacob Zuma, Prison, Constitutional Cout, Pretoria High Court, contempt of court, 15 months
In 2021, Jacob Zuma was sentenced to prison by the Constitutional Court for being in contempt of court. Images: Rodger Ward & Simon Mania
Source: Getty Images

In February, the Zondo Commission approached the Constitutional Court to compel Msholozi to appear before the commission, however, Zuma defied the court order and stayed away from proceedings, reports TimesLIVE.

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The Zondo Commission was left with no choice but to ask the Apex court to find Zuma in contempt of court. The commission hoped the court would sentence Zuma to at least two years in prison, however, in June 2021, the Constitutional Court decided to sentence Zuma to 15 months' imprisonment instead.

Jacob Zuma hands himself over to the police

Zuma's sentence for being in contempt had South Africans sitting on the edge of his seat, with many people wondering if the police would be heading to Zuma's homestead in Nkandla and arrest the former president.

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Much to the country's surprise, Zuma chose to avoid the commotion of an arrest and hand himself over to the police in Nkandla just before midnight on 8 July 2021, reports SABC News.

Zuma gets released on medical parole

While Zuma was serving his prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Services facility, his health began to take a knock which saw the former president spend much of his time in a military hospital for an undisclosed illness.

This led Arthur Fraser who was the National Commissioner of the Correctional Services to make to send Msholozi home on medical parole, despite the medical parole board being against the decision in September.

Fraser's decision angered organisations such as the Helen Suzman Foundation, AfriForum and the Democratic Alliance who approached the Pretoria High Court to find Zuma's medical parole unlawful.

Zuma's medical parole set aside

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After much deliberation, the High Court found Zuma was awarded medical parole unlawfully and ruled that Msholozi has to go back to prison to finish his prison sentence.

The court also stated that the time Zuma spent on house arrest would not count as time served, according to Reuters.

Carl Niehaus believes Jacob Zuma should not return to prison

Carl Niehaus, a suspended ANC member and MK Veterans spokesperson, said that the Pretoria High Court's decision that former president Jacob Zuma must return to prison should be rejected by all South Africans.

The court declared that Zuma's medical parole is illegal and ordered him to return to jail. Zuma's sentence is 15 years.

Niehaus said that the court's order is “injustice at its best” as he believes Zuma was not granted a fair trial, SABC News reports.

According to The Witness, Niehaus believes that South African supporters of Zuma will revolt in response to the court's decision.

Source: Briefly News

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