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Zuma has introduced legal restrictions to avoid arrest


Jacob Zuma has set a deadline to avoid arrest for contempt of the country’s highest court, while the former South African president has urged his supporters to reject any arrests.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court has ordered Zuma to pay a fine on Sunday for up to 15 months in prison for refusing to comply with a nine-year corruption investigation under his leadership.

But on Saturday the court agreed to hear Zuma’s proposal to overturn his sentence as the 79-year-old was too weak to escape from prison, although people boasted he was not afraid of being arrested for allegedly harassing “unjust judges”.

“It is my instincts and my real life that arrest is threatening,” Zuma said in a statement.

Zuma has so far refused to negotiate with the lower court to leave the area, with several witnesses calling for him to be included, along with allegedly helping Gupta’s business families to seize government property. Zuma and Gupta deny any wrongdoing.

Zuma’s lawyers have also asked the lower court to comply with the prison sentence, with a ruling on Tuesday – indicating he will not be detained until early Wednesday. The trial court is due to hear its case on July 12.

Lawyers said nothing could be done, but the show has been suspended as South African law is in jeopardy if the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa allows Zuma to refuse arrest.

This week, small groups of Zuma’s supporters rallied against the ruling African National Congress and staged a protest outside their home, some wearing the disbanded ANC uniform.

The demonstrations challenged a legal ban on anti-coronavirus protests under a third worsening wave in South Africa.

Zuma called on his supporters on Saturday to protect him and said there was nothing wrong with him. In writing a traditional shield, Zuma added that the inquiry should not reveal “government secrets” during his tenure.

A demonstration in support of the former President has disrupted the ANC, which suspended a meeting of senior officials this week to instead send them to the site to “provide clear and consistent leadership to ensure compliance” and to prevent violence.

But the summit also highlighted the extent to which Zuma was weakening. The Zulu king, Misuzulu kaZwelithini, has banned Zulu military members from going to the former president because of a ban on meetings.


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