South African court agrees to hear Zuma challenge to jail sentence

Ex-South African President Jacob Zuma
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A South African court has agreed to hear former South African President Jacob Zuma’s challenge to a 15-month jail sentence he received this past week.

The constitutional court decided on Saturday it will hear Zuma’s challenge on July 12.

The 79-year-old received the sentence after he missed a court date in February for a trial regarding a corruption investigation led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Zuma is accused of illegal contact with three wealthy businessmen while in office. 

The former president argued that the sentence is excessive and will put him at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

“When somebody is saying please hear me out … and then we have court that says ‘OK, we are willing to listen to you’, that’s the kind of justice system people died for in this country,” the Jacob Zuma Foundation said after the decision.

Edward Zuma, the former president’s son, told Reuters his father will not be serving any jail time. 

“They can give [Jacob] Zuma 15 months … or 100 months. He’s not going to serve even one day or one minute of that,” Edward Zuma said. “They would have to kill me before they put their hands on him.”

Jacob Zuma previously said the investigation is a political witch hunt against him; however, it is not the only corruption investigation involving the former leader. 

He is also under investigation for an arms deal he made in 1999 while deputy president.

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