The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has announced that former president Jacob Zuma has been placed on medical parole.
Zuma was granted 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,” DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement on Sunday.
Nxumalo explained that Zuma’s medical parole placement means that he will complete the remainder of his sentence “in the system of community corrections”.
The former president is obligated to comply with specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires.
“Medical Parole can only be revoked if an offender does not comply with the placement conditions,” Nxumalo added.
This comes after Zuma had a surgical procedure recently having been initially hospitalised in August for medical observation for an undisclosed illness.
The DCS indicated at the time that the decision to take Zuma for hospitalisation was made after a “routine observation”.
However, the military’s medical boss, Brigadier-General Dr Mcebisi Zukile Mdutywa, revealed in a letter that the former president had suffered a “traumatic injury” in November last year.
Mdutywa, who leads the South African Military Health Service’s (SAMHS’s) presidential medical unit, detailed how Zuma needed to undergo “an extensive emergency procedure” and that it would take six months to treat him.
Zuma was slapped with a 15-month jail sentence when he was found guilty of contempt by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in June for failing to comply with the apex court’s ruling forcing him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
The ConCourt then heard his rescission application challenging the sentence, however, the judgment was reserved in the matter.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court had also dismissed an urgent application to stay Zuma’s detention.
The former president has been serving his prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.