Former South African President Jacob Zuma is fighting for his freedom as his impending imprisonment fast approaches.
Zuma is set to be jailed for 15 months on Sunday or Wednesday should he fail to surrender to the police.
In papers filed in court on Friday, the 79-year-old ex head of state pleaded with the Constitutional Court to “reconsider and rescind” its decision.
“It will not be futile to make one last attempt to invite the Constitutional Court to relook its decision and to merely reassess whether it has acted within the constitution or, erroneously, beyond the powers vested in the court by the constitution,” said Zuma who was sentenced for contempt of court.
The fourth South African President argued that his incarceration poses a threat to his health.
Further, Zuma labelled the punishment as cruel and degrading.
In the court papers, Zuma said that he has a right to a court that would examine his request “with dispassionate interest but a keen sense of judicial duty and independence.”
According to a copy of a warrant of committal, Zuma will be spending the next 15 months at Westville Prison in southeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province.
As his incarceration looms, his son Edward told AFP that he will not allow anyone to arrest his father.
“I would have to die first before they arrest him.”
Edward described the ruling as “very reckless, a decision which has plunged the country into crisis, a decision that is going to plunge the country into a war”.
On Friday, Zuma’s supporters gathered outside his Nkandla home.
The embattled former president is due in court in July where he is facing 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to a 1999 purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military gear from five European arms firms for 30 billion rand, then the equivalent of nearly $5 billion.