Jacob Zuma Pardoned From Going To Jail

Saturday, August 12, 2023

South Africa | The Black Examiner – Former South African President Jacob Zuma was released from prison based on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to commute the sentences of nonviolent offenders, as stated by Ronald Lamola, the justice minister.

In a recent development stemming from a contempt of court conviction, Zuma was instructed to return to jail. He complied and appeared at a correctional facility in the eastern town of Estcourt at 6 am (04:00 GMT), as confirmed by the prison service.

Makgothi Thobakgale, the national commissioner of correctional services, confirmed that Zuma was “admitted into the system” upon his arrival and was subsequently released within an hour as part of a “remission process” aimed at reducing prison overcrowding. Following his admission, he underwent administrative procedures.

Zuma, aged 81, was sentenced to 15 months in June 2021 for failing to provide testimony before a commission investigating financial corruption and cronyism during his tenure. He commenced his sentence in July 2021, which sparked protests escalating into riots and looting, causing over 350 deaths—the worst outbreak of violence in South Africa since its democratization.

However, due to an undisclosed medical condition, he was granted medical parole after only two months. An appeals court ruled in November of the same year that this release was improperly granted and ordered Zuma to return to the Estcourt Correctional Center in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Although the South African prison service, which initially granted Zuma’s conditional parole, appealed the decision, the Constitutional Court rejected the appeal last month. In accordance with this decision, Thobakgale indicated that the former president was instructed to report back to jail on Friday.

According to Mzwanele Manyi, a spokesperson for Zuma’s foundation, Zuma was at home and in conversation with his legal team.

The process of “exploring special remission” began in April, as noted by Justice Minister Lamola. This initiative is expected to result in the release of over 24,000 prisoners, with around two-thirds of them being placed under parole and supervision. Lamola highlighted that this change aims to alleviate prison overcrowding, which poses a direct threat to inmate health, security, and management and could potentially lead to an upsurge in gang-related activities.



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