A former president spends the night in prison — SA weighs in on Jacob Zuma handing himself over to police

08 July 2021 - 09:25 By unathi nkanjeni
Former president Jacob Zuma handed himself over to police to begin serving his 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court.
Former president Jacob Zuma handed himself over to police to begin serving his 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court.
Image: Lulama Zenzile

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.

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:


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