JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A South African inquiry into corruption during Jacob Zuma’s time as president will ask the constitutional court to impose a jail term on the former leader after he defied an order to appear before the inquiry on Monday.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who leads the inquiry, said there was “no valid or sound reason” for Zuma’s failure to appear before the inquiry, which is probing allegations of high-level graft during Zuma’s period in power from 2009 to 2018.
One of Zuma’s lawyers, Eric Mabuza, declined to comment when called by Reuters. Zuma denies wrongdoing but has not cooperated with the commission of inquiry. He was removed from office by the governing African National Congress (ANC) in 2018, in a move orchestrated by allies of his successor Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The commission will make an application to the constitutional court, which is the court that made the order that Mr Zuma has defied, and seek an order that Mr Zuma is guilty of contempt of court,” Zondo said.