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Zuma Buys Time as Constitutional Court Agrees to Examine Appeal on July 12

Sentenced to 15 months in prison for contempt of court, former South African President Jacob Zuma is not expected to be arrested until at least July 12. The Constitutional Court will now examine his appeal.

Zuma had argued that at 79 years old and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a stay in prison would be equivalent to a death sentence.

He made a brief appearance outside his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday, July 3, to meet his supporters in a festive atmosphere.

“South African justice system is not fair. We need to show sympathy to comrade Jacob Zuma,” said Ngryngrai Ngwenya, a Jacob Zuma supporter. “We’re here to support him and enforce that he doesn’t go to prison. We’ll defend him.”

Nduna Mpanza, a Zulu warrior, said: “We are here to protect Mr. Msholozi (Jacob Zuma) because we trust Msholozi is always protecting our nation, the Zulu nation. We’re here to present as a Zulu Nation called Ibotho iKa Zulu. So Msholozi is a Zulu man, always protecting the Zulu nation.”

The situation is expected to remain calm for now as Jacob Zuma will not be arrested in the coming days. The Constitutional Court, which sentenced him to 15 months in prison, will consider his appeal on  July 12. The veterans of the former armed wing of the ANC who are guarding Zuma’s house can let their guard down.

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