South Africa’s constitutional court has sentenced former President Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison.
The court in a majority ruling found Mr Zuma guilty of contempt for failing to comply with the ruling of the court to appear before a panel that was investigating corruption allegations against him.
Mr Zuma denies involvement in a number of graft scandals.
The former president who was forced to step down in 2018 over corruption scandals, is accused of enabling the stealing of state funds during his almost nine-year stay in office.
It was Zuma himself, under pressure over the scandal, who set up the inquiry shortly before he was ousted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Jacob Zuma has testified only once, in July 2019, before staging a walkout days later — accusing the commission’s chair of bias, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, of bias.
Other than a brief appearance in November where he left before questioning — prompting an exasperated Zondo to ask the Constitutional Court to intervene, he has since ignored several invitations to show in court.
Zuma has cited medical reasons and preparations for another corruption trial for his repeated no-shows.
He has also refused to participate in contempt of court proceedings, and instead wrote a scathing letter to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng describing an “atmosphere of judicial hostility” and “humiliation.”
Most of the transgressions investigated by the commission involve three brothers from a wealthy Indian business family, the Guptas, who won lucrative government contracts and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.