Zuma not getting 'preferential treatment' in jail, says justice and correctional services department

09 July 2021 - 09:03

Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola briefed the media about the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.

The department of justice and correctional services has set the record straight regarding former president Jacob Zuma's treatment in jail, saying he will be treated like any other prisoner.

Zuma is serving time in jail for contempt of court at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

He handed himself over to police on Wednesday night, after a Constitutional Court order instructing police to arrest him by midnight on Wednesday.

Zuma was handed the sentence by the ConCourt last week after he failed to appear at the state capture inquiry.

Former president Jacob Zuma will be treated just like any other prisoner during his stint in jail, says the department of justice and correctional services.
Former president Jacob Zuma will be treated just like any other prisoner during his stint in jail, says the department of justice and correctional services.
Image: Lulama Zenzile

Speaking during a media briefing on Thursday, correctional services officials said Zuma was not getting preferential treatment at the Estcourt facility.

“The former president is not getting any preferential treatment. He will be treated like any other offender within our facility.

“It's important to indicate that once a person gets handed over to our facility, we take full responsibility as a department. So security arrangements of the former president become the responsibility of the department, not that of SAPS [SA Police Services] or the protection services.”

Justice minister Ronald Lamola said if the department wanted to grant Zuma special treatment, he would have been serving his time in a hotel.

He said Zuma would be treated “in terms of the Nelson Mandela rules”, saying he would be treated with the respect due to his inherent dignity and value as a human being.

“Correctional services owns hotels and we've got guest houses across the country. One of our best hotels is in Durban, the Karridene beach hotel, so if we wanted the former president to stay in a hotel and highly privileged area, we would have taken him there,” said Lamola.

Lamola said Zuma would be eligible for parole after serving a quarter of his 15-month sentence.

“We want to assure all South Africans that former president Zuma will be afforded dignity throughout his term of incarceration.”


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