South Africa’s highest court on Friday defended Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment order, accusing the former president of “controversial fraud” in a harsh decision that accused him of undermining the court.
The case does not affect Zuma’s medical parole earlier this month, however, which sparked riots during allegations of breach of the amnesty order.
His jail in July sparked the worst political explosion since the end of apartheid, when his supporters staged violent protests that turned into massive looting of supermarkets and warehouses.
The 79-year-old had asked the Constitutional Court to overturn his 15-month prison sentence for refusing to answer questions in a corruption investigation.
“The appeal has been rejected,” Judge Sisi Khampepe said.
Zuma’s lawyers had argued that the decision should be overturned because he did not attend the trial.
“Many strongly reject any suggestion that the plaintiffs may be allowed to voluntarily slaughter the legal process which has by all means been done in a more general manner, and then plead with the existing victim,” Khampepe said.
The ruling accused Zuma of “conspiracy theorists” for seeking to commute his imprisonment.
The case ignored Zuma’s medical exemption on September 6.
Zuma, who maintains support funds with the ruling African National Congress, served as president from 2009 to 2018.
He started work after the release of the rape of the daughter of an adult friend and her rule has been marred by numerous scandals.
His administration has been known as a “government arrest” for allegedly giving political bias and abuse, which is the subject of a three-year public investigation.
Zuma’s refusal to appear before the inquiry led to the Constitutional Court ordering his 15-month prison sentence. Because court orders could not be appealed, Zuma asked for “excommunication.”
Zuma’s allegations are “baseless,” the judge said