LIVE BLOG: Zuma remains in prison for now as High Court dismisses stay application

In less than a minute, the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed former President Jacob Zuma's application to stay his 15-month prison sentence.

The judgment was handed in a mere seconds. Proceedings have adjourned.

The application is dismissed with costs.

The Pietermaritzburg High Court will go live shortly.

The proceeding has concluded.

Judge Kollapen says it's best to leave the ANC to determine decisions related to its own constitution which all members agree to. "The decision to suspended Magashule was effected in terms of the ANC constitution... and complied with the law relevant to the ANC constitution." 

Judge Kollapen is now reading the conclusion...

The court is now also dismissing Magashule's suspension of Ramaphosa.

The court says it does not believe Magashule's contention has any merit. 

The court says Magashule was afforded a hearing before being suspended and he participated in this process. He was afforded ample opportunity to make representation as to why he shouldn't be suspended.

The court now deals with the suspension itself.

The court says there was not a narrowing down of the step aside rule.

The court also does not agree that the NEC altered the original step aside resolution taken at Nasrec to fit his suspension.

The court says it cannot be contended that his rules were violated as it is in line with the ANC's constitution. Magashule's challenge fails.

Magashule contends that his suspension violates his rights, located in the Bill of Rights. 

Rule 25.70 of the ANC consitution cannot be struck down on the basis that it is silent on the principle of natural justice.

The court says the step aside rule cannot be ruled unconstitutional.

There are 5 issues to be dealt with in the judgment...

The application to dismiss the documents served to Magashule is dismissed.

Judge Kollapen now reads the background on Magashule's suspension.

Judge Kollapen reads the background of how the ANC arrived its step aside rule at the 2017 Nasrec conference.

In his application, Magashule described himself as the unlawfully suspended SG of the ANC. He is seeking the following relief: An order declaring the ANC step aside role to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid. He seeks an order decalring the suspension letter from Jessie Duarte to be unlawful and invalid. He seeks an order of his suspension of Cyril Ramaphosa to be validated. He also wants the order for him to apologise to Ramaphosa to be declared unlawful.

Judges are going to read a summary of their judgment. The judgment is unanimous. The full judgment will be made available.

Meanwhile, the party, Ramaphosa and Magashule's deputy Jessie Duarte, through their lawyer Advocate Wim Trengove have insisted Magashule got ample opportunities to state his case before being suspended. He's been sanctioned after failing to step aside over corruption charges he's facing.

Meanwhile, the application brought by embattled secretary-general Ace Magashule against the African National Congress (ANC) over his suspension is also being heard today.

WATCH LIVE: Zuma stay of application decision.

He is reportedly in high spirits, according to his daughter Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola who have interacted with him since being incarcerated.

Zuma began serving his sentence on Wednesday evening.

Ngcukaitobi further argued that justices of the Constitutional Court were aware of the former president's age and the coronavirus when they sentenced him, suggesting that it was a waste of the court's time to entertain Zuma's application.

He argued vehemently that the former president should be imprisoned by midnight on Wednesday after he failed to hand himself over to authorities on Sunday as instructed.

However, counsel for the state capture commission, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, countered Mpofu's arguments by saying Zuma had been given ample opportunity to cooperate with the apex court but failed to do so.

He explained that people should be 'shaken' by the fact that his client had been directly sent to jail without a trial.

Mpofu said it was irrelevant why Zuma had chosen to approach the High Court and not the Constitutional Court.

He argued that the fact the Constitutional Court agreed to hear Zuma's application was an indication that he had fair prospects of success.

Mpofu further argued that a more lenient sentence would be appropriate given Zuma's age, the COVID-19 pandemic, and his medical condition.

Mpofu claimed that it was unjust for the former president to begin serving his 15-month jail term pending the outcome of his rescission application.

On Tuesday, Zuma's lawyer Dali Mpofu told Judge Bhekisisa Mnguni that Zuma would be prejudiced by the sentence – but counsel for the Helen Suzman Foundation and the state capture commission opposed Zuma's application, arguing that the Pietermaritzburg High Court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter.

The country's apex court is expected to hear that application on Monday. It ruled last week that the former president was in contempt when he disregarded a directive that he must appear and testify at the state capture commission.