South Africa’s former President Zuma suspended | World information
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s jailed former President Jacob Zuma has been suspended for his illness, the government’s correctional department said on Sunday.
Last month, prison authorities announced that Zuma, who was serving a 15-month sentence in Estcourt Prison for disobeying the court, had undergone unspecified surgery at an outside hospital where he had been sent for observation. He stayed in the hospital, further operations were planned.
The 79-year-old’s eligibility for medical parole follows a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services, a statement said.
“The medical probation placement for Mr. Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence under the community correction system, subject to certain conditions and being monitored until his sentence expires,” the department added.
His spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said Zuma, who was detained in early July, was still in the hospital but could go home to continue receiving medical care. He did not provide any information about Zuma’s illness, the conditions of his detention, or whether his health had deteriorated since the operation.
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Mzwanele Manyi, a spokeswoman for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, said she welcomed the parole board’s decision and a more detailed statement would be released after consulting Zuma’s legal team.
Zuma was arrested for resisting a Constitutional Court order during his nine-year term ending in 2018 to testify in an investigation into high-level corruption.
When Zuma surrendered on July 7, protests by his supporters escalated into rioting with looting and arson, which President Cyril Ramaphosa called an “insurrection”.
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by David Goodman and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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