Politics

Zuma Granted Temporary Release To Attend Funeral

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The Former President Jacob Zuma, who is currently serving his 15 months jail sentence for defying a court order, has been granted permission to show up at his brother’s funeral on Thursday at his homestead in Nkandla.

A confirmation came from the Department of Correctional Services, that Jacob Zuma has been granted compassionate leave to attend the funeral. Zuma’s brother, Michael, died last week at the age of 77, from a long illness, shortly the former president started his prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Center. Zuma was handed a 15-months sentence by the constitutional court for defying its order after he was served to appear before the Zondo Commission on state capture and corruption but failed to do so.

According to The Witness, the department of correctional services confirmed it on Wednesday that an application for a temporary release from prison was applied on Tuesday by Zuma to attend his brother’s funeral. The family said that Michael Zuma’s funeral was meant to have taken place last weekend. It was, however postponed to allow the department to process Zuma’s application to attend the burial.

Singabakho Nxumalo, the correctional services spokesperson said Zuma was granted compassionate leave in line with the Correctional Services Act, allowing him to attend to a family bereavement.

“As a short-term, low-risk classified inmate, Mr. Zuma’s application for compassionate leave was processed and approved following the correctional services prescripts,” Added Nxumalo.

The release will only be temporary, said the department of correctional services as the permission has been granted only for Thursday. “A sentenced offender who is granted permission to leave a Correctional Centre remains a sentenced offender even while temporarily outside,” Nxumalo said.

On Thursday morning, the media was banned from attending the funeral, journalists try to cover the funeral service being held at Michael’s home near the former presidents Nkandla homestead- were told the event was a “private” one.

Members of the Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) were seen performing access control duties on the road leading to Michael’s home, directed the media to park their vehicles on the soccer field about 600 meters from the home. “The instruction is that we should not allow any media inside. We will let you know if there are any changes,” an MKMVA member said.

At 10 am a convoy arrived, believed to be transporting Zuma, and made its way to Michael’s home.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala, is believed to be one of the high profile mourners attending the funeral.

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