Jacob Zuma is sentenced to 15 months in prison


South African President Jacob Zuma speaks on December 15, 2017 on the eve of the 54th National Conference of the ANC in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Wikus de Wet | AFP | Getty Images

The South African Constitutional Court has sentenced former President Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison for disregarding the court.

Zuma was found guilty by the country’s highest court after defying his order to appear in a corruption investigation focused on his tenure between 2009 and 2018.

The investigation, led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, investigates high-level corruption during Zuma’s tenure. After Zuma had long denied wrongdoing, he has so far refused to cooperate and did not appear before a judicial commission in February.

He now has five days to present himself to the police in order to be arrested.

Zuma faces a litany of legal troubles after pleading not guilty last month in a separate corruption trial that focused on an arms trade in 1999 when he was vice president.

He continues to insist that all charges are the product of a political witch hunt.

Zuma was overthrown in 2018 following internal disagreements between the ruling African National Congress (ANC) amid public outrage over alleged corruption and mismanagement of state resources.

Zondo’s investigation came after an Ombudsman report called for an investigation into possible inappropriate contacts between high-ranking members of Zuma’s former government and three wealthy businessmen, all of whom have denied wrongdoing.

This is a development story and will be updated shortly.