Former president Jacob Zuma part of a "remission process" aimed at addressing overcrowding in prison

Former president Jacob Zuma reported back to prison on Friday morning before being swiftly released as part of a "remission process" aimed at addressing overcrowding in prison.

PICTURE: Twitter - @PresJGZuma

The decision was announced by Correctional Services boss Makgothi Thobakgale, and Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola at a media briefing on Friday.

Zuma was sentenced in June 2021 after refusing to testify before the state capture inquiry  -- but was freed on medical parole just two months into his term. He started serving the sentence early in July 2021. The following month, he was admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed condition before being granted medical parole.

In November last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal found the release was illegally granted and ordered the now 81-year-old back to the Estcourt Correctional Centre. South Africa's prison service, which had granted Zuma's conditional release, appealed the decision, but the bid was dismissed by the Constitutional Court last month.

The apex court found that the decision by former prisons boss Arthur Fraser to grant Zuma medical parole to have been unlawful and ordered the department to make a decision on his return to prison.

Thobakgale said Zuma handed himself over to Estcourt Correctional Centre on Friday morning and left an hour later after being subject to administrative processes.

"In compliance with the SCA judgment, Mr Zuma did report back at Estcourt Correctional Centre. A consideration has been made as per legislation, including processes that were already unfolding in the management of Correctional Services. The administrative procedures have ensued, and Mr Zuma has been processed accordingly," said Thobakgale.

Lamola said President Cyril Ramaphosa approved the remission of non-violent offenders to alleviate overcrowding in facilities.

 “Former president Jacob Zuma is one of the beneficiaries of this decision as a low-risk offender. This decision will result in the deportation of 3064 foreign nationals serving short-term sentences under the guidance of the Department of Home Affairs.

“Additionally, it will alleviate overcrowding in correctional centres by releasing approximately 9,488 inmates and a further 15,000 inmates who are currently under correctional supervision and parole.

“The majority of the beneficiaries of this decision are already serving parole or under correctional supervision in their communities.

“The exercise of exploring special remission commenced on 24 April 2023 when we lost approximately 1112 bed space due to dilapidation in most of our centres," Lamola added.


Done By: Esona Mfazwe


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