Ex-South African President Zuma taken to prison, then released on remission

Ex-South African President Zuma taken to prison, then released on remission

Justice minister says low risk offenders are being granted remission to reduce crowding in prisons

By Hassan Isilow

Former South African President Jacob Zuma reported back to the Estcourt correctional services in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday morning to continue his prison sentence but was later released on special remission, authorities have said.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola told reporters that Zuma was released on the remission process granted by President Cyril Ramaphosa to low-risk offenders.

He said low-risk offenders were being granted the remission to reduce overcrowding in prisons.

“He (Zuma) is not above the law that’s why the National Commissioner of the department of correctional services took a decision that he must come back to prison to comply with the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling,’’ Lamola said in response to a reporter’s question.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered the 81-year-old Zuma to return to prison because his release on medical parole had been illegally granted by Arthur Fraser, then head of South Africa's Department of Correctional Services.

Fraser allegedly made the decision against the advice of the Medical Parole Advisory Board.

In July 2021, Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a judicial commission investigating corruption during his nearly decade-long presidency.

He was released from the Estcourt Correctional Center on medical parole after just two months to serve his sentence under house arrest.​​​​​​​

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