Jailed former South African president Jacob Zuma has been granted compassionate leave to attend the burial of his brother due today July 22, 2021.
“As a short-term, low risk classified inmate, Mr Zuma’s application for compassionate leave was processed and approved,” Correctional Services department spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, said on Thursday.
Jacob Zuma applied for compassionate leave to attend his brother, Michael’s, upcoming funeral and his pleas was considered under Section 44(1)(a) Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998. With compassionate leave, prisoners are generally released temporarily in order to attend relatives’ funerals.
The former president is currently serving a 15-month sentence in prison for contempt of court.
Zuma’s release from the Estcourt Facility for a number of hours on Thursday morning to return by the afternoon as soon as the funeral proceedings were concluded.
Mr Nxumalo says Mr Zuma does not have to wear prison uniform while on the “compassionate leave”.
However, there are concerns that Zuma’s supporters could form a human shield such as the one they erected outside his homestead before he handed himself over to the police last Tuesday.
His jailing sparked unrest in his home province KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng where hundreds have died and property destroyed.
Michael died last Sunday after battling a long illness. He served as family spokesperson during Zuma’s tenure as president.