By Hannatu Sadiq
The Zuma Foundation has announced that 79-year-old ex-President Jacob Zuma who had long tried to resist arrest, has surrendered to the police, and is now behind bars.
Despite days of protests by his supporters and veterans’ association’s threat to destabilize the country if he was arrested, he will, on Thursday begin a court-ordered prison sentence.
Dozens of his protesters had posted themselves as guards outside his country residence, Nkandla.
According to police, Mr. Zuma is now in the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, a province on the country’s east coast.
Mr. Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Constitutional Court on June 29 for disobeying a court summon.
He has to answer a commission of inquiry on various corruption charges during his 2009 to 2018 term in office but had failed to comply with a court summons. On several occasions, Mr. Zuma had questioned the commission’s legitimacy and stressed that he would rather go to jail than appear there.
It is the first time a former president of the country has been sentenced to prison. The politician’s lawyers had filed an urgent motion in the evening to postpone the start of his imprisonment.
The police had arrived with numerous vehicles in front of Mr. Zuma’s country residence Nkandla in eastern South Africa, with wild media assembly.
According to reports, a convoy of cars departed with the politician after several rounds of negotiations with his lawyers.