South Africa’s High Court orders Zuma to go back to jail

Judge finds former president didn’t comply with report on irregularities at Scorpions anti-corruption unit

South Africa’s High Court has ordered former president Jacob Zuma to go back to jail.

Zuma was acquitted of corruption charges relating to a $2bn arms deal arranged under former president Thabo Mbeki in 2006.

But the court ruled that Zuma hadn’t complied with a report compiled by prosecutors on irregularities at the Anti-Corruption Commission’s Scorpions unit.

The judgment will have repercussions for Zuma’s political future, where his rivals in the ruling African National Congress have been urging him to step down after he’s replaced by a new leader.

“This judgment shows clearly that the rule of law must prevail,” an ANC source told Reuters.

ANC spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka told Reuters: “We urge former president Zuma to bear in mind the public interest and respect the decisions of the courts of law. The decision will apply to all citizens irrespective of who they are.”

It was not immediately clear if Zuma will appeal. He is currently serving a 14-year sentence for corruption.

Charges against Zuma were reinstated against him in 2016 following an order by the special court hearing the case.

Zuma is implicated in corruption over a purchase of weapons from the United States for the navy of his country’s smaller neighbour, Namibia.

The corruption charges were subsequently stayed, following a decision by then president Thabo Mbeki not to prosecute Zuma.

While Zuma was arrested in the Namibian case, Mbeki’s government chose not to prosecute him in South Africa, owing to differences in policy between the two leaders.

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