Zuma's imprisonment is 'a difficult period in movement', says ANC

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  • The ANC has called the imprisonment of Zuma a "difficult period".
  • Zuma spent the night in prison after handing himself over on Wednesday night.
  • The Jacob Zuma Foundation wouldn't take media queries, saying it was reflecting on a tragedy.

The ANC has dubbed the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma as a "difficult period in the movement".

READ | From president to prisoner: Jacob Zuma taken to Estcourt prison after day of high drama

Zuma surrendered himself to police less than an hour before midnight on Wednesday. He spent his first night in the Estcourt prison after leaving his Nkandla home after 23:15, and being driven in a protected VIP vehicle.

The Constitutional Court sentenced Zuma to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of court, following his refusal to continue his evidence before the Zondo Commission.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said it would not be dealing with media queries. This was because the foundation's spokesperson required time to "reflect on the tragedy that has just happened", it said in a statement on Twitter.

"The Patron of the Foundation, HE Prez Zuma (sic) was jailed without trial," the tweet added.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the ANC noted that Zuma had "complied with an incarceration order issued by the Constitutional Court".

Jacob Zuma's motorcade leaves his homestead in Nka
Jacob Zuma's motorcade leaves his homestead in Nkandla.

"The ANC has always restated its unequivocal commitment to and defence of the Constitution, in particular the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, amongst the founding principles and values of the Republic of South Africa," the statement said.

"Without doubt, this is a difficult period in the movement, and we call upon our members to remain calm and respect the decision taken by former president Jacob Zuma to abide by the rulings of the court."

Meanwhile, DA leader John Steenhuisen has welcomed the arrest and incarceration of Zuma.

"This is an important victory for the rule of law in South Africa and sends a message to all those who have aligned themselves with the Zuma faction and who have become emboldened by his dismissive attitude, that the law cannot be mocked and challenged with impunity. If the leader can go to prison, then so can anyone," said Steenhuisen.

He added that the party was relieved the arrest had been effected without any violence.

"Zuma's arrest last night was a small step in the right direction. But the real fight to reclaim our country from predatory politicians who have robbed from the people to enrich themselves and their networks has only just started," said Steenhuisen.

He applauded that the judiciary had remained independent despite state capture, saying it needed to be guarded fiercely.

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