A South African High Court has ordered ex-president Jacob Zuma to return to jail. This is happening four months after the 79-year-old was released on medical parole.
Jacob Zuma was sentenced to a 15-month jail term for contempt of court. After he resigned in 2018, a corruption inquiry was set up to investigate him which he refused to submit himself to.
In July, Zuma handed himself over to the authorities to begin serving his sentence, only to unwittingly trigger the worst violence South Africa has seen in years, after his supporters took to the streets in protest.
The protest quickly degenerated into widespread looting which resulted in the loss of 354 lives, costing the nation’s already-struggling economy about $3.3 billion after thousands of businesses were either razed or looted.
Despite emerging from the apartheid era 27 years ago, South Africa has one of the world’s worst earning gaps. The country’s unemployment rate stood at a record high of 34.9% in the third quarter and has been accused of being the driving force behind the nation’s many looting and xenophobic sprees.
It remains to be seen if Zuma will go back to jail, and if he will do so again after the corruption inquiry concludes its findings on his widely-criticised nine-year term. Industry watchers are also wary that this may trigger a fresh bout of looting that may send the South African economy spiralling further.