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Former South African president Jacob Zuma is being allowed to leave prison to attend his brother’s funeralBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 22, 2021, 10:22 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleJOHANNESBURG — Former South African president Jacob Zuma will be allowed to leave prison Thursday to attend his brother’s funeral.Zuma will be permitted to wear civilian clothes at the funeral and afterwards will return to the Estcourt prison in eastern South Africa, according to a statement issued by the correctional services department.Zuma’s brother, Michael, died last week and will be buried in their home province of KwaZulu-Natal.Zuma is currently serving a 15-month sentence for defying an order from the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, that he should testify at the commission of inquiry probing allegations of corruption during his term as president from 2009 to 2018.The start of Zuma’s imprisonment on July 8 sparked off protests which quickly escalated into violent riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces that lasted a week.South Africa’s widespread poverty and inequality contributed to the wave of unrest which saw widespread ransacking of shopping centers, the burning of freight trucks, and the barricading of two of the country’s major highways.The death toll in the unrest has risen to 276, and police are investigating 168 of those for murder, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, acting minister in the presidency, has announced. Although many people were trampled in stampedes at shopping malls when shops were looted, the police investigations of murder indicate that many deaths may have been caused by shootings and other intentional acts. Amnesty International is also investigating the deaths.The economic cost of South Africa’s unrest is still being calculated. The damage in KwaZulu-Natal province is estimated at 20 billion rand ($1.37 billion). There, more than 150 shopping malls, 11 warehouses, and eight factories were badly damaged. The damage in Gauteng province is still being assessed.Separate from his sentence for contempt of court, Zuma is standing trial for corruption stemming from a South African arms purchase in 1999. That case has been postponed until August 10, while the judge decides if Zuma should be permitted to attend the trial in person at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.In that case, Zuma is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales through his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik. Shaik was convicted on related charges in 2005 and served time in prison.Zuma has also appealed to the Constitutional Court to rescind his sentence for contempt of court, arguing that errors were made in his conviction and sentencing. The court has not yet said when it will rule on Zuma’s application.Zuma refused to testify before the judicial inquiry into corruption during his years as president. Several witnesses, including former Cabinet ministers and the heads of state-owned corporations, have testified that Zuma had allowed his associates, members of the Gupta family, to influence his Cabinet appointments and the awarding of lucrative state contracts.
The corruption trial of former South African president Jacob Zuma, who is currently in prison, has been postponed to August 10 while it is decided whether he must be physically present in the courtroom or can appear via video from where he is in detentionBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 20, 2021, 9:39 AM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleJOHANNESBURG — The corruption trial of former South African president Jacob Zuma, who is currently in prison, has been postponed to August 10 as it is decided whether he must be physically present in the courtroom or can appear via video from where he is in detention.Zuma asked that his trial be postponed until he could attend the case at the court in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal province. Zuma claimed that proceedings held via a video link prevent him from properly consulting with his lawyers. Zuma is currently in Estcourt Correctional Center, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.He is accused of receiving bribes from French arms manufacturer Thales during South Africa’s purchase of arms in 1999.Before the corruption trial begins, the court must also rule on Zuma’s application for lead prosecutor Billy Downer to recuse himself from the trial for alleged bias against Zuma.Zuma is currently serving a 15-month prison sentence for defying an order by the country’s top court, the Constitutional Court, to testify before a commission probing allegations of corruption when he was president from 2009 to 2018.The former president’s imprisonment earlier this month triggered protests that escalated into widespread rioting in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home province, and in Gauteng, the province that includes Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.At least 215 people died in the rioting and more than 2,500 people have been arrested for theft and vandalism. Order was restored last week after 2,500 army troops were deployed to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.In a separate case, the Constitutional Court is considering Zuma’s request to have his 15-month contempt of court sentence rescinded. Zuma’s lawyers have argued that the country’s apex court made errors when convicting and sentencing him.
South Africa’s rioting continued Tuesday with the death toll rising to 32 as police and the military struggle to quell the looting and violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provincesBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 13, 2021, 10:27 AM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleJOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s rioting continued Tuesday with the death toll rising to 32 as police and the military struggle to quell the looting and violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.Many of the deaths occurred in chaotic stampedes as scores of people looted food, electric appliances, liquor, and clothing from retail centers, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala told the press on Tuesday morning.“Yesterday’s events brought a lot of sadness. The number of people who have died in KwaZulu-Natal alone stands at 26. Many of them died from being trampled on during a stampede while people were looting items,” said Zikalala.In Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province which includes the largest city, Johannesburg, six people have died, said officials.The deployment of 2,500 soldiers to support the South African police has not yet stopped the rampant looting although arrests are being made at some areas in Johannesburg, including Vosloorus in eastern Johannesburg.Looting continued Tuesday in Johannesburg shopping malls in township areas including Jabulani Mall and Dobsonville Mall in Soweto. There were also reports of continued looting in centers in KwaZulu-Natal.The violence started in KwaZulu-Natal last week as protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma, who began serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. He was convicted of defying a court order to testify before a state-backed inquiry probing allegations of corruption during his term as president from 2009 to 2018.The sporadic pro-Zuma violence spiraled into a spree of criminal theft in poor, township areas of the two provinces, according to witnesses. So far the lawlessness has not spread to South Africa’s other nine provinces.The Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, heard Zuma’s application to have his sentence rescinded on Monday. Zuma’s lawyer presented his arguments that the top court made errors when sentencing Zuma to prison. After 10 hours of testimony on Monday, the court judges said they would study the arguments and announce their decision at a later date.
Supporters of former South African president Jacob Zuma are protesting his imprisonment, burning trucks, commercial property and blocking major roads in KwaZulu-Natal provinceBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 10, 2021, 3:43 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleMOOI RIVER, South Africa — Supporters of former South African president Jacob Zuma are protesting his imprisonment, burning trucks, commercial property, and blocking major roads in KwaZulu-Natal province. They are demanding that he be released from prison.Zuma started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court earlier this week. His bid to be released from the Estcourt Correctional Center was rejected by a regional court on Friday and he is set to make another attempt with the country’s apex court on Monday.His supporters in KwaZulu-Natal, his home area, have been blocking roads, setting trucks alight and damaging and looting shops in various spots in the province. At Mooi River, near Pietermaritzburg, about 20 trucks were stopped and set on fire early Saturday, according to witnesses.A truck ferrying new luxury vehicles could be seen burning along a major road. A truck for the U.N. World Food Program was also set alight, after protesters took bags of maize meal from the vehicle. A large retail supermarket in the area was also looted.Police say have arrested 27 people involved in the burning and looting, spokesman for KwaZulu-Natal province Brig. Jay Naicker said. Increased numbers of police were deployed to affected areas where they monitored entrances to major highways and searched vehicles. Some motorists were turned away from areas hit by the protests.Scores of Zuma’s supporters who gathered outside his home in Nkandla last weekend had threatened violence should the former president be sent to prison.Zuma turned himself over to police late Wednesday night.Zuma has imprisoned for defying a court order to testify before a state-backed inquiry probing allegations of corruption during his term as president from 2009 to 2018.
A South African court has rejected former South African President Jacob Zuma’s request to postpone his jail termBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 9, 2021, 10:17 AM• 1 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleESTCOURT, South Africa — A South African court has rejected former South African President Jacob Zuma’s request to postpone his current jail term.Zuma, who started his 15-month jail sentence Thursday, will remain behind bars after his application for his prison term be delayed was dismissed by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.Zuma has one more legal bid to be released which will be heard by the Constitutional Court, the country’s apex court, on Monday.He is currently imprisoned in the Estcourt Correctional Center for failing to obey a court order to testify at a judicial commission that is investigating allegations of corruption during his term as South Africa’s president from 2009 to 2018.
Former South African president Jacob Zuma turned himself over to police early Thursday to begin serving a 15-month prison termBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 7, 2021, 10:38 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleNKANDLA, South Africa — Former South African president Jacob Zuma turned himself over to police early Thursday to begin serving a 15-month prison term.Just minutes before the midnight deadline for police to arrest him, Zuma left his Nkandla home in a convoy of vehicles. Zuma decided to hand himself over to authorities to obey the order from the country’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, that he should serve a prison term for contempt of court.“President Zuma has decided to comply with the incarceration order. He is on his way to hand himself into a Correctional Services Facility in KZN (KwaZulu-Natal province),” said a tweet posted by the Zuma Foundation.Soon after the South African police confirmed that Zuma was in their custody.Zuma’s decision to obey the Constitutional Court order comes after a week of rising tensions over his prison sentence.Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt because he defied a court order for him to testify before a judicial commission investigating widespread allegations of corruption during his time as the country’s president, from 2009 to 2018.The Constitutional Court ordered that if Zuma did not voluntarily hand himself over to the police then the police should arrest the country’s former president by the end of the day Wednesday.In a last-minute plea to avoid going to prison, Zuma’s lawyers had written to the acting chief justice requesting that his arrest be suspended until Friday, when a regional court is to rule on his application to postpone the arrest.Zuma’s lawyers asked the acting chief justice to issue directives stopping the police from arresting him, claiming there would be a “prejudice to his life.”The top court met late Wednesday, according to local reports, but apparently rejected Zuma’s request.Zuma had also launched two court proceedings to avoid arrest after his sentence last week.He applied at the Constitutional Court for his sentence to be rescinded and that application will be heard on July 12.On Tuesday, his lawyers were in the Pietermaritzburg High Court seeking to stop the minister of police from arresting him until the Constitutional Court rules on his application to have the sentence rescinded. The regional court will rule on that application on Friday.Political tensions have risen in KwaZulu-Natal province as a result of Zuma’s conviction, sentence and pending arrest. Hundreds of his supporters gathered at his home over the weekend and vowed to prevent his arrest, but they left on Sunday.In addition to
A South African regional court is to rule Friday on whether it will block an order by the country’s highest court for the arrest of former South African President Jacob ZumaBy MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated PressJuly 6, 2021, 5:43 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleNKANDLA, South Africa — A South African regional court is to rule Friday on whether it will block an order by the country’s highest court for the arrest of former South African President Jacob Zuma.The Pietermaritzburg High Court in KwaZulu-Natal province heard arguments Tuesday by Zuma’s lawyer that the court should stop the order made last week by the Constitutional Court that police must arrest Zuma by midnight on Wednesday after he was sentenced last week to 15 months in prison for contempt of court.Zuma’s lawyers argued that the court should stop the police from arresting him until the Constitutional Court rules on his application to rescind the sentence, which will be heard on July 12.Zuma has been found guilty of contempt after failing to obey the court’s order to appear before the commission investigating allegations of corruption when he was president from 2009 to 2018.Zuma’s lawyer, Dali Mpofu, argued in court on Tuesday that police minister Bheki Cele had not opposed Zuma’s application and that nobody had argued that he was a flight risk or would evade arrest if his application failed.In an opposing argument, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said Zuma was already in defiance of the court order by not handing himself over to authorities. Zuma should have already handed himself over to police, said Ngcukaitobi, representing the commission of inquiry.“We are dealing here with a repetitive, recalcitrant law-breaker in the form of Mr. Zuma. He has now approached you (the court) to assist him in breaking the law further. You should reject that,” said Ngcukaitobi.The judgment in the case will be delivered Friday.Over the weekend, hundreds of Zuma’s supporters had gathered outside his homestead in the rural area of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal, vowing to prevent any attempts to arrest him. Defying the country’s COVID-19 regulations against public gatherings, they grouped together, many without masks, and sang songs praising Zuma’s role in the fight against apartheid, South Africa’s previous regime of white minority rule.The African National Congress, the party of Nelson Mandela which Zuma led from 2007 to 2017, on Tuesday condemned the actions of Zuma’s supporters and urged support for the rule of law.The ANC’s National Executive Committee said it deplored the “counter-revolutionary calls for violence and even civil war, parading of armed groups and flagrant display of weapons” outside Zuma’s home.By Tuesday the crowds supporting Zuma had dispersed just a few of Zuma’s supporters stood at the entrance to his home. Several armed police officers could be seen monitoring the area and at least three police vehicles could be seen patrolling around Zuma’s home.