A former president spends the night in prison — SA weighs in on Jacob Zuma handing himself over to police
The jailing of former president Jacob Zuma has garnered mixed reaction online.
Zuma handed himself over to police on Wednesday evening to begin serving his 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court.
He was admitted at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma was handed the sentence by the Constitutional Court last week, after he failed to appear at the state capture inquiry.
In a statement, the Jacob Zuma Foundation said the former president had “decided to comply with the incarceration order” and hand himself over.
His daughter, Duduzile, said her father was in “high spirits”.
“He said that he hopes they still have his same overalls from Robben Island and we laughed hard that at least he won’t struggle with Afrikaans this time round,” she wrote on Twitter.
Just spoke @PresJGZuma en route and he is still in high spirits. He said that he hopes they still have his same overalls from Robben Island and we laughed hard that at least he won’t struggle with Afrikaans this time round. We salute dad! Amandla ✊🏽✊🏽✊🏽!!! pic.twitter.com/ooLngCSDXg— Dudu Zuma-Sambudla (@DZumaSambudla) July 7, 2021
The department of correctional services (DCS) said Zuma will go through all the admission processes as per the department's regulations.
“Other relevant prescripts pertaining to admitting and orientating newly incarcerated persons will also be followed and executed,” said the department.
“Details about the appropriate classification, prerogatives and incarceration conditions can only be determined at the completion of the assessment process to be undertaken by relevant authorities within the employ of DCS.
“Keeping inmates in a safe and secure custody remains cardinal to Correctional Services and we remain committed to this cause.”
On Tuesday, advocate Dali Mpofu represented Zuma in an urgent application to stay an arrest order at the Pietermaritzburg high court.
Mpofu argued that Zuma was a senior citizen and not a flight risk. He said the court should suspend Zuma’s warrant of arrest, saying his health condition was “uncontestably precarious”.
He alleged Zuma was being sentenced without facing trial and asked judge Bhekisisa Mnguni to grant him a stay, claiming if not granted Zuma would be subjected to the “worst imaginable” human rights violation.
A decision on the challenge is expected to be heard on Friday.
On social media, Zuma handing himself over sparked a major debate with many sharing different opinions.
Here is a snapshot of what they had to say:
However difficult this is. My sympathies lie with citizens who tonight are without jobs, healthcare, education due to the unabated corruption that the ANC advanced through Jacob Zuma. SA must rise & uphold its constitution. This too shall pass, we must have constitutional future!— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) July 7, 2021
The events of the last few days were straight out of the Zuma playbook. It is exactly what we witnessed when he was removed as president. Drama, theatrics, spectacle, take us to the brink, consume the oxygen of the country. Then at the end quietly out last minute, no ‘bloodshed’.— Mandy Wiener (@MandyWiener) July 8, 2021
Guys please, let's remind ourselves that President Zuma was not arrested on any fraud or corruption charge, as many of you seek to purport. He was only found guilty of contempt of court, please don't get it twisted.#ZumaArrest | eNCA | SAPS | He is in South Africa pic.twitter.com/jQPrvq2bZ3— Sizwe Khumalo (@mashobanes) July 8, 2021
🕯🕯🕯 For Zuma to start releasing people’s files as revenge.🕯🕯🕯— Ms Party (@Olwee) July 8, 2021
Zibanjwe Zonke. Vok.
Those who say that President Zuma is arrested without trial - don't forget that Zuma had multiple opportunities to appear in court. What makes you think he will appear in court when he has a trial?? Don't bore us please#ZumaArrest JJ Tabane Ubaba pic.twitter.com/Q19iaLejpc— Siyanda Jola (@siyanda_jola) July 8, 2021
Zuma has now handed himself over after pushing our legal system to near crisis point. But, our constitution holds. There has been no January, 6 American-style insurrection. No blood has been shed. A former president spends the night in prison.— judith february (@judith_february) July 7, 2021
There is powerful symbolism in that.
One thing that become evident with the Zuma situation is , SAPS is well resourced to tackle the high levels of crime facing the country. They just don’t want to. Kidnappers, murderers, drug-lords, will still roam free with low/no response whatsoever!— Leo N Maphosa (@LeoMaphosa) July 7, 2021