SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 July 2021, Saturday |

South African court dismisses Zuma’s application to block arrest

Former President Jacob Zuma’s motion to have his arrest for contempt of court dismissed by the South African High Court on Friday, only days after he handed himself over to police to begin a 15-month prison sentence.

The court presiding over the case declared, “The application is dismissed with costs.”

Zuma was sentenced to prison last week by the Constitutional Court for refusing to testify in a corruption investigation during his nine years in office, which began in 2009. Zuma has disputed his sentencing despite turning himself up on Wednesday night.

On Monday, the constitutional court will hear his appeal in a separate case.

Friday’s high court judgment came hours after the same court dismissed an application by the secretary general of the governing African National Congress (ANC) party, Ace Magashule, to have his suspension over corruption charges in a separate case set aside.

Both politicians’ proceedings are regarded as a test for South Africa’s ability to enforce the law — even against powerful politicians — 27 years after the ANC ousted South Africa’s white minority rulers to usher in democracy.

Zuma’s prison sentence has been hailed as the most dramatic chapter yet in his transformation from a famous anti-apartheid warrior to a politician accused of sleaze and corruption, all of which he denies.

Zuma was imprisoned by South Africa’s white minority authorities for his efforts to establish a state that would treat residents equally while he was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) when it was a liberation organization.

Zuma, 79, has claimed that he is the victim of a political witch-hunt and has denied widespread corruption.