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Jacob Zuma addresses supporters outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court on May 26. Photo: Deaan Vivier/Beeld/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Former South African President Jacob Zuma turned himself into police Wednesday night to begin serving a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Zuma's successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, has made rooting out government corruption central to his tenure, and the high-profile investigation into Zuma's government is seen as a test of the rule of law in post-apartheid South Africa.

The big picture: The 79-year-old former leader faced a midnight deadline to turn himself in, after being arrested and sentenced in late June for failing to appear at a hearing investigating alleged corruption during his time in office.

  • Zuma's time in office, from 2009 to 2018, was marked by financial scandal and accusations of mismanagement and corruption, per the New York Times. He also faces charges of racketeering, corruption, fraud and money laundering stemming from accusations tied to his time as deputy president in 1999.

What's next: South Africa's high court will hear a challenge to his jail term on July 12.

  • Zuma has said that the sentence is excessive and politically motivated, and that incarceration could expose him to COVID-19, per Reuters.

Go deeper

Abortion, religion, gun rights on agenda as Supreme Court starts new term

Photo: Zach Gibson/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court begins a new nine-month term on Monday, with major cases on abortion, religion and gun rights on the docket.

Driving the news: It will be the first in-person session with most of the justices since the pandemic forced proceedings to be held virtually last year. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who on Thursday tested positive for COVID-19 but has no symptoms, will participate remotely this week, the court said on Friday.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.

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