South African former President Jacob Zuma handed himself in to police on Wednesday to begin 15 months in jail for contempt of court, the culmination of a long legal drama seen as a test of the post-apartheid state’s ability to enforce the rule of law.Police spokesperson Lirandzu Themba confirmed in a statement that Zuma was in police custody, in compliance with the Constitutional Court judgment.
The former president got the 15-month jail last week for allegations of defying the instructions earlier February to give evidence of his corruption allegations. on a live fortage of Zuma’s mortorcade heading to the correctional center, the Department of Correctional Services said in a separate statement that Zuma was admitted to Estcourt Correctional Centre, about 175 km (108 miles) from his rural homestead in Nkandla in eastern South Africa.
Police had been instructed to arrest Zuma by the end of Wednesday if he failed to appear at a police station. Hundreds of his supporters, some of them armed with guns, spears and shields, had gathered nearby at his homestead to try to prevent his arrest.
But in the end, the 79-year-old Zuma decided to go quietly.
“President Zuma has decided to comply with the incarceration order,” his foundation said, the first time Zuma’s camp had shown any willingness to cooperate with the court.
After Zuma’s denial that there was widespread corruption under his leadership and he had struck a defiant note on Sunday, lashing out at the judges and launching legal challenges to his arrest.His lawyers asked the Constitutional Court on Wednesday to suspend its order to the police to arrest him by midnight pending the outcome of his challenge against a jail sentence.The former president maintains that he is the victim of a political witch hunt and that Zondo is biased against him.