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Can Jacob Zuma appeal his 15-month jail sentence?

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  • The former South African president is likely to start a prison term this week - but is there one last, appeal-shaped ace up Jacob Zuma's sleeve?

By Tom Head | ANALYSIS

As we’ve learned from Premier League football in the past two years, there’s nothing worse than celebrating a goal too early, only for it to be chalked off by VAR. So it’s important to ensure that we don’t fall into the judicial equivalent here in South Africa.

Jacob Zuma has been sentenced to 15 months behind bars – but can an appeal get it overturned?

‘LACK OF LOOPHOLES’ FOR THE FORMER PRESIDENT

Zuma is an absolute master of the dark arts. His courtroom conduct sees him delay, deny, and distract. However, on this occasion, he was demolished.

The ConCourt hammered the former president for ‘holding the laws of South Africa in contempt’, after he decided to skip scheduled appearances at the State Capture Inquiry.

Make no mistake, JZ has lost several battles in the dock – but he’s also wriggled out of a few tight spots by obstructing the course of justice.

Even now, in his ongoing corruption trial, we are nearly three-and-a-half years in, and no significant progress has been made. But, if all else fails, Jacob Zuma isn’t afraid to whip out an appeal…

CAN JACOB ZUMA APPEAL HIS JAIL SENTENCE?

His own foundation already seems to have abandoned the idea, dubiously insisting that ‘he is the only individual in South Africa who by default is denied the right to appeal’. Although sour, it appears the Zuma camp will accept reality.

ConCourt is also South Africa’s ‘apex court‘. That means it is the highest authority in the land, and it even trumps the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Once you’re found guilty here, it’s as good as impossible to reverse the decision – and no process of appeal has been set down for this case. As it stands, Jacob Zuma is heading for the orange overalls. ■

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