South Africa’s highest court has rejected former President Jacob Zuma’s request to overturn his 15-month prison sentence for failing to attend a corruption inquiry session.
In July, Zuma – currently in hospital recovering from surgery – asked the court to overturn the sentence, arguing that arrest would put his health at risk, the Independent. The conviction came a month earlier, for not having attended the inquiry, in an investigation of his nine-year term.
“The request for termination was rejected,” Judge Sisi Khampepe said as she read the ruling, which included an order for the former president to pay the costs of the lawsuit. “Zuma refused to participate in the process” and “wasted new opportunities when asked to do so”, he indicated.
Zuma, 79, was arrested in July. Soon after, he was released on parole. His arrest triggered some of the worst riots in south africa of the last few decades. More than 300 people were killed and thousands of companies and factories invaded.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office in 2018, called the turmoil a “failed insurrection”.
Zuma resigned four years ago amid allegations of corruption. His term, from 2009 to 2018, was marred by scandals and mismanagement. The former president is also facing corruption charges in another case, for allegedly accepting bribes through the arms business.