Former South African president Jacob Zuma has said he is ready to go to jail should the courts decide so.

In a lengthy statement on Thursday, Zuma explained why he has not appeared before a commission of inquiry looking into corruption allegations against him. He denies the allegations.

He has also said he has lost trust in the South Africa’s justice system.

“All I said is that I am not afraid of going to jail, as I was not under the apartheid system. However, I will not subject myself to an oppressive and unjust court system.”

On Thursday, the South African Constitutional Court reserved judgement in the contempt case against him.

Zuma has ignored summonses to appear before the commission of inquiry being chaired by Justice Ray Zondo to answer corruption allegations – saying he believed that Justice Zondo was biased against him.

The country’s highest court in January ordered him to appear before the commission, but he ignored the order.

The commission’s lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi on Thursday said Zuma’s failure to comply with a court order was “deliberate and cynical”.

“His conduct must be seen for what it is. We are dealing with a cynical manoeuvre to avoid accountability.”

The lawyer said a two-year jail term they wanted imposed on Zuma would show the level of seriousness of his actions.

The court is expected to make its ruling at a later but undecided date.

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