South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma turns himself in for 15-month prison term

Former South African president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday handed himself over to the police to serve a 15-month prison sentence.

On Tuesday, the top court had ordered to arrest Zuma in case he failed to appear for his charges before July 4. Just before Midnight, Zuma was admitted to the Estcourt Correctional Center near his home in KwaZulu-Natal province, CNN reported citing the Department of Correctional Services.

South Africa's top court also ruled that former President Jacob Zuma was in contempt of court and handed him a sentence of 15 months imprisonment for defying court orders to appear before a corruption investigation spanning nine years of his term.

Zuma led South Africa for nearly a third of its post-apartheid history and was an associate of Nelson Mandela's during the freedom struggle. During his term, corruption had become so entrenched that the allegations against him are termed as 'state capture'.

He is being prosecuted separately on charges of racketeering, corruption, fraud and money laundering stemming from a deal with a French arms manufacturer in which he allegedly took bribes while he was deputy president in 1999.

Zuma had lost an internal party election of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to current president Cyril Ramaphosa in 2017 after a bitter internal battle nearly split the storied liberation party in two.

Ramaphosa campaigned partly on an anti-corruption platform and has since fired ministers and heads of state-owned institutions that he asserted were being mismanaged and taken aim at top officials within the party, forcing them to step down and face charges similar to Zuma's.

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