Jacob Zuma has officially been let out of prison – but his freedom is very much a temporary arrangement. Msholozi will today attend the burial of his younger brother Michael, who died earlier this month after a reportedly long illness.
What is Zuma allowed to do at the funeral?
In a statement, The Justice and Correctional Services Department said a sentenced offender who was granted permission to leave a correctional centre remained a sentenced offender – even while temporarily outside. Singabakho Nxumalo, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that they could not disclose how long Mr. Zuma will be out of his cell for.
- Nxumalo also told Radio 702 what uBaba can – and cannot – do during Thursday’s service in Nkandla:
“Zuma has been home with family, getting ready for funeral.I can’t share the number of hours or days he’ll be out, because of the security measures that are in place. He can engage with family members or make an address at the funeral, but he cannot make any public statements, or leave the sight of our prison officials.“
Is the former president a ‘security threat’?
The former president is currently serving a 15-month sentence at the Escourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. The ex-statesman, aged 79, was sentenced on 29 June for defying an instruction to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his nine years in power. He will not be required to wear his prison uniform while on day release.
The state says they see him as a ‘short-term, low risk classified inmate’, making their decision to grant him compassionate leave from prison a simple one. However, COPE issued a statement earlier, opposing the move in its entirety. The political party believes Zuma IS a risk on the outside, as supporters ‘may try to stop him returning to jail’.
- On Thursday morning, a cavalcade of high-security vehicles – likely carrying Zuma – was spotted driving into Nkandla.