- Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has cited that former president Jacob Zuma will be eligible for parole after serving three months and three weeks in prison
- Zuma began his sentence on Thursday after he handed himself over to authorities an hour before the deadline for his arrest was executed in Nkandla
- Lamola, in a response to demands for his department to provide video or photographic proof to show that Zuma was in the prison, said it was not possible
With Jacob Zuma now incarcerated at Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the former president will be eligible for early release after serving a quarter of his 15-month sentence.
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola confirmed the decision to parole Zuma at a future date during a media briefing outside the facility on Thursday.
According to reports, Zuma began his sentence on Thursday after he handed himself to authorities an hour before the deadline for his arrest was executed at his Nkandla homestead in the northern KZN district of uThungulu.
"In his case, there is no stipulation for a non-parole period. This means that the former president will be eligible for parole once a quarter of his sentence has been served," said Lamola.
The minister said Zuma will be allowed to serve his prison sentence without bias or prejudice. He also confirmed that medical parole is not off the table should it be a proven requirement.
Prison section in which Zuma will carry out his sentence unknown
Zuma, who is in the prison's hospital section in isolation as per Covid-19 protocol, according to a TimesLIVE report, will be kept in isolation for a period of 14 days before integrating with the wider prison population.
It is not clear yet which section of the prison Zuma will carry out his term of imprisonment. However, Lamola said it will be in a dignified environment with an inmate profile to be carried out in due course to ultimately determine where in the prison Zuma will serve his sentence.
"I have seen him. He is in very good spirits ... I also told him that I am going to tell the nation that he is here in this facility and he said 'yes, they must know'. I was just checking whether he is fine.
"He indicated that he is fine and that we can tell the country that he is in a dignified environment ... Systems are in place to ensure that the incarceration is done in a manner that is not retributive but humane," added Lamola.
It has also been confirmed that Zuma will have access to a television. Of no exception will be the provision of public telephones within the prison from which to make calls. Zuma will not be entitled to preferential privileges such as a personal bodyguard.
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Lamola, in a response to demands – publically or elsewhere – for his department to provide proof in the form of a video or photograph to show that Zuma was in the prison, said it was not possible. He explained:
"We cannot take pictures and videos of inmates. But you can take our word that he is indeed in this facility. There is no reason for us to say he is here if he is hiding somewhere else. He is in this facility."
Edward Zuma stresses ‘Dad’s Not Going Inside’ ss Jacob Zuma arrest looms
Briefly News reported previously that Edward, as a vocal part of the cog opposing Zuma's arrest, declared that he would have to be killed before his 79-year-old father is arrested.
The 44-year-old has once again stressed that there would be bloodshed should there be any attempt to arrest the former president. In an interview with the media outside Nkandla on Wednesday, Edward was quoted saying:
"As the local people, as Edward Zuma, we will be stopping anybody who will want to incarcerate Jacob Zuma," he proclaimed.
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Source: Briefly News