The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has been billed a whopping R398,271 for former president Jacob Zuma’s private hospital stay.
However, there is still no clarity as to who is liable to pay those costs.
DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the department was still engaged in discussions regarding the payment of the bill.
“To date, we have been billed for R398,271,” said Nxumalo.
“We have never said DCS is paying for medical costs, as the issue is being discussed considering the presidential privileges that Mr Zuma enjoys.”
Last month, Zuma underwent a surgery at a private hospital, with the department announcing that more procedures would follow.
Zuma remains in hospital, meaning the bill would likely go beyond R400,000.
The Jacob G Zuma Foundation on Wednesday said he would not be attending the proceedings of his trial, which resumes on Thursday.
“Zuma, due to his ill health and continuing hospitalisation, the NPA and his legal team have agreed that he will not attend the postponement proceedings which will be heard on the virtual platform at 10h00 tomorrow 9 Sept 2021,” the foundation said.
Last month, Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen directed the state to appoint its own doctor to examine Zuma, to establish his fitness to stand trial and to give evidence as to his fitness to attend court.
He had also ordered doctors treating Zuma to provide a medical report.
Zuma has since been granted medical parole in terms of section 75(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998.
“Medical parole’s eligibility for Mr Zuma is impelled by a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services. Apart from being terminally ill and physically incapacitated, inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care can also be considered for medical parole,” Nxumalo said in a statement on Sunday.