Former South African president Zuma in prison and quick released on remission | ANG
  • February 27, 2024

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South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma was admitted to the Estcourt Correctional Centre and released in less than two hours.

The Correctional Services national commissioner said Zuma’s release was part of a remission program aiming to address prison overcrowding.

As pressure from the opposition mounted Friday (Aug. 11), authorities and correctional services defended their decision.

“The law has taken its course with regards to the former president Zuma. The national commissioner has taken a decision and that decision was not interfered with, neither did we meddle with it,” the Justice and Correctional Services minister told the press.

Minister Lamola said, the former leader immediately benefited from a remission of non-violent offenders approved by President Ramaphosa.

9,500 inmates will be released

Under the remissions process authorized by President Cyril Ramaphosa, almost 9,500 inmates will be released from prison and placed under correctional supervision, said Makhothi Thobakgale, correctional services commissioner.

The decision to return Zuma to prison followed a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that upheld a Gauteng High Court ruling that releasing him from jail on medical parole in 2021 was unlawful and unconstitutional.

However, the court left to Thobakgale the decision of whether Zuma should return to jail or have his time under medical parole considered as time served.

Zuma was jailed in 2021 for defying a Constitutional Court order to appear before a commission of inquiry investigating allegations of corruption during his tenure as president from 2009 to 2018.

He was released on medical parole two months into his 15-month sentence.

Then correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser, a known ally of the former president, authorized Zuma’s release on medical parole.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has argued that Zuma served his sentence as he was under correctional supervision while on medical parole.

The Department of Correctional Services said last year that Zuma had been released from its system after serving his sentence.

His incarceration had sparked violent riots in KwaZulu-Natal and property destruction in the province and in the Gauteng province, which includes the economic hub Johannesburg.

According to official government figures, 354 people died during the chaos as police struggled

to quell the spread of the violence and destruction.

The decision to return Zuma to prison followed a Supreme Court of Appeal judgment that upheld a Gauteng High Court ruling that releasing him from jail on medical parole in 2021 was unlawful and unconstitutional.

However, the court left to Thobakgale the decision of whether Zuma should return to jail or have his time under medical parole considered as time served.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has argued that Zuma served his sentence as he was under correctional supervision while on medical parole.

The Department of Correctional Services said last year that Zuma had been released from its system after serving his sentence.

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