Former President admitted to hospital, July 2021
Former President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Carte Blanche

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has confirmed that former South African President Jacob Zuma has been admitted to an outside hospital for medical observation. The DCS said in a statement on Friday:

“As a former President, the healthcare needs of Mr Zuma require the involvement of the South African Military Health Services. This has been the case since his admission at Estcourt Correctional Centre.

“A routine observation prompted that Mr Zuma be taken for in-hospitalisation.”

Zuma’s foundation confirmed the former president was in hospital but said there was no need for alarm “yet” and it was just for his annual medical check-up.

“The Foundation confirms the statement by Correctional Services that indeed H.E President Zuma is in Hospital outside the prison. The 79 year old, 1st prisoner of the ConCourt, jailed without trial is attending to his annual medical routine check up. No need to be alarmed… yet.”

The former statesman was sentenced to 15 months in jail on 29 June for defying an instruction to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his nine years in power.

He is incarcerated at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. The correctional centre is a medium B facility, which houses both youth and adult inmates. The centre also has a hospital section.

The DCS said the health of inmates is addressed under Section 35(2) of the Constitution. This obliges the DCS to ensure that “everyone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including at least exercise and the provision, at State expense, of adequate accommodation, nutrition, reading material and medical treatment”. –