Jacob Zuma Tax

Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

Zuma in jail: Former president ‘under assessment’ for health issues

On Thursday, Jacob Zuma got his first taste of life inside Estcourt Prison – but concerns about his health remain, and medical assessments are ongoing.

Jacob Zuma Tax

Photo: Gallo Images/Volksblad/Mlungisi Louw

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has addressed the media outside of Estcourt Prison on Thursday, after former president Jacob Zuma was brought into the facility overnight. As it stands, Msholozi is now being assessed for his health issues.

What are Jacob Zuma’s health concerns?

In a letter pleading for his freedom last week, Zuma stressed that going to jail would be akin to a ‘death sentence’ for him and his various medical complications. Aged 79, still unvaccinated, and getting sent down mid-pandemic has put the frighteners on uBaba – but Lamola has confirmed that the ex-head of state is being well looked after.

“Zuma is in the hospital section for an assessment. The former president is being attended to now. A former president gets no preferential treatment and he’ll be treated like any other offender. Once a person is handed over to our facility, it becomes the responsibility of our department. We have taken care of the president’s security detail.” | Ronald Lamola

Zuma in jail: The lowdown from Lamola

  • – Estcourt is a ‘Medium B’ facility, with a capacity to accommodate 512 prisoners.
  • – He is not in Westville, because it was never officially ordered. The chosen prison is judged on ‘the risk of the offender’.
  • – The former president will be isolated for 14 days, and will also be assessed by the prison’s medical teams.
  • – A complete profile will be submitted, in line with all the assessments. This happens for EVERY inmates.
  • – These precautions are in place to ensure that the judiciary is detaining individuals in a humane manner.
  • Zuma will be elligible parole after FOUR MONTHS – that’s a quarter of the sentence he is serving.

‘No special treatment’ for former ANC leader

Furthermore, the Justice Department has had to bat away suggestions that the prison system will offer any ‘preferential treatment’ to Mr. Zuma. The way Lamola sees it, everything will be done by the book – no matter who has been jailed.

“He’s in good spirits, he’s had his breakfast and his medication. I think he looks well, and I hope that the health services will continue to deal with his medical issues. As for the impending judgment on his court appeals, we have to wait and see. This will tell us what to do next. We are guided by the orders of the Constitutional Courts.”

“Look, Correctional Services also owns beautiful guest houses and hotels. If Zuma was getting ‘preferential treatment’, we’d have him in Umhlanga, or even in the Western Cape, in a place where he could even see the sea. We have complied with the laws of the country, and decided to bring him here.”