Former president Jacob Zuma hands himself in to South African police to begin jail term
Former South African President Jacob Zuma has handed himself in to police to begin serving a jail sentence for contempt of court.
Late on Wednesday, his foundation said he had travelled to a prison near to his home in KwaZulu-Natal province.
Police earlier warned that they were prepared to arrest Mr Zuma, 79, if he failed to hand himself in.
He was handed a 15-month jail term for contempt of court last week after he failed to attend a corruption inquiry.
The sentencing sparked an unprecedented legal drama in South Africa, with a deadline imposed of midnight on Wednesday (22:00 GMT) for Mr Zuma’s arrest.
The deadline was imposed after Mr Zuma refused to hand himself in on Sunday.
South Africa has never seen a former president jailed before.
Though Mr Zuma was forced out of office by his own party, the African National Congress (ANC), he retains a loyal body of supporters, especially in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.
On Sunday, crowds formed what they called a human shield outside Mr Zuma’s palatial home. Similar crowds gathered before he handed himself in on Wednesday.
The BBC’s Nomsa Maseko, who was at the scene, noted that there was a large police presence outside the property on Wednesday.
A convoy of cars believed to be carrying Mr Zuma was later seen leaving the house at high-speed shortly before the midnight deadline for his arrest.
Mr Zuma, a veteran of the fight against white minority rule in South Africa who was imprisoned for 10 years on Robben Island alongside Nelson Mandela, previously declared that he was prepared to go to prison.