Ailing Jacob Zuma Granted Medical Parole, Freed

Jailed former president Jacob Zuma has been granted medical parole, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said on Sunday.

The 79-year-old former president has been in hospital for the last few weeks.

He was moved from the Estcourt Correctional Centre, where he was serving a 15 month sentence for contempt to court to a hospital outside the facility. Zuma, who has been in hospital since 6 August, underwent surgery recently.

The DCS said it is “able to confirm that Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma has been placed on medical parole”.

“Medical parole’s eligibility for Mr Zuma is impelled by a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services,” said the DCS.

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, explained the DCS.

In addition, said the DCS, the risk of re-offending of released inmates must also be low.

There must be appropriate arrangements for the inmate’s supervision, care and treatment within the community to which the inmate is to be released to.

“Medical parole placement for Mr Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, whereby he must comply with a specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires,” said the DCS.

Medical Parole can only be revoked if an offender does not comply with the placement conditions.

“We want to reiterate that placement on medical parole is an option available to all sentenced offenders provided they meet all the requirements,” said the DCS.

“We appeal to all South Africans to afford Mr Zuma dignity as he continues to receive medical treatment.”