South African court tells ex president, Zuma to choose own punishment in contempt case
London, April 14, 2021 (AltAfrica)-South Africa’s ex-President Jacob Zuma has until Wednesday to suggest the penalty the country’s highest court will hand him in the event he is found guilty of contempt.
In February Mr Zuma had failed to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s commission of inquiry to answer corruption allegations, which he denies, despite the Constitutional Court ruling that he was compelled to do so.
In last month’s hearing, the commission asked the court to sentence the former president to two years, to show the court’s authority and the seriousness of Mr Zuma’s actions. The court however withheld judgement in the case.
Mr Zuma at the time said he wouldn’t be afraid to go to jail if the courts decided so – adding he’d not appeared before the commission because he had lost trust in the justice system.
Meanwhile an appeals court on Tuesday upheld an earlier judgement for the state to recover money that it had spent on the former president’s legal fees. It said the state funding in the corruption case was “unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid”.
It is estimated that the state paid between $1m (£792,000) and $2.2m in legal costs for him.