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Justice Khampepe: Zuma gave ConCourt 'no choice' but to imprison him

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Former president Jacob Zuma pictured outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Former president Jacob Zuma pictured outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Gallo Images/Beeld/Deaan Vivier

Former president Jacob Zuma repeatedly dared the Constitutional Court to send him to jail for defying its ruling that he appear before the State Capture Inquiry – and, now, in a far-reaching defence of the rule of law, it has.

In a devastating majority judgment, acting Deputy Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe found that Zuma had "left this court with no real choice" but to order that he serve 15 months behind bars for his contempt of the highest court in the country – which included him comparing it to the apartheid government.

"The only appropriate sanction is a direct, unsuspended order of imprisonment. The alternative is to effectively sentence the legitimacy of the judiciary to inevitable decay," Khampepe said.

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