The former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has been freed on medical parole – two months after he was imprisoned due to contempt charges.
It was revealed by the government’s department of correctional services on Sunday that Zuma’s parole had been “induced by a medical report”. No details, however, were given about the nature of his illness.
Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been granted medical parole after serving two months of a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. The 79-year-old Zuma has spent almost a month in hospital for an undisclosed condition. https://t.co/7p2oymNHeh— AP Africa (@AP_Africa) September 6, 2021
Zuma was taken to a hospital to undergo the first of a few medical procedures last month.
He will serve the rest of his 15-month sentence under surveillance in the community corrections system, the department said. It was said that Zuma would be subjected to “supervision until the end of his sentence.”
No details were given about where he would serve his parole.
His relief comes after his staggering downfall. He was a freedom fighter who fought against apartheid beside Nelson Mandela and was a dominant figure in the governing African National Congress.
His sentence was unprecedented for an ex-president, thus spurring violent protests and looting.
He was forced out of office by the African National Congress (ANC0 in 2018, Zuma still retains a loyal body of followers, especially in his own province of KwaZulu-Natal.
He was sentenced on 29 June for opposing an instruction to give evidence at a probe into corruption during his time in power. He has testified at the inquiry only once into what is known as “state capture” – the siphoning off of state assets.
Zuma has frequently said that he is the victim of a political conspiracy.
The decision to award him parole was forced by a medical report submitted to South Africa’s prison department.
Zuma also faces a corruption trial separately, which is due to resume on 9 September. His medical parole could be revoked if he does not adhere to the placement conditions, Singabakho Nxumalo, Correctional Services spokesperson, said.