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How's Zuma holding up in prison? Mzwanele Manyi says 'very serious issues' are taking a 'toll' on him

21 July 2021 - 12:00 By unathi nkanjeni
Mzwanele Manyi says prison has taken a 'toll' on former president Jacob Zuma psychologically.
Mzwanele Manyi says prison has taken a 'toll' on former president Jacob Zuma psychologically.
Image: Duduzile Zuma/Twitter

Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi has shed some light on the former president's condition in prison, saying he is “having serious issues" there.

Zuma is serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. He was handed the sentence by the ConCourt last month after failing to appear at the state capture inquiry.

Speaking on eNCA on Tuesday, Manyi said Zuma was struggling with his physical wellbeing because of his age.

“[Former] president Zuma is a man with a very strong heart, but the prison conditions are never good for a person that is approaching his 80th birthday ... he is having very serious issues,” said Manyi.

He said people have been friendly to Zuma, but prison was taking a toll on him psychologically.

“We cannot complain about the treatment [he is receiving] in the cells. People are friendly to him, but the psychological impact is taking a toll on him. So this is not a happy situation.

“There is nowhere of trying to paint it nice. It's just not a happy situation because he is sitting there with a heavy heart and his health is not enhanced by conditions the government has put him in,” he said.

On Tuesday, the KwaZulu-Natal high court postponed Zuma’s fraud and corruption trial to August 10. 

Judge Piet Koen made the order after hearing arguments on Monday from Zuma’s lawyers, who were seeking a postponement for two to three weeks.

On social media, Zuma's daughter Duduzile welcomed the news and shared a video honouring her father.