South Africa’s former President Zuma placed on medical parole

Former South African President Jacob Zuma, appears at the hearing for his application for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself from the state capture commission inquiry, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Former President Jacob Zuma is appearing before a state commission investigating serious allegations of corruption during his tenure as head of state between 2009 and 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

South Africa’s jailed former president Jacob Zuma has been placed on medical parole because of his ill health, the government’s correctional services department said on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Former South African President Jacob Zuma during a previous court hearing. /AP

Last month prison authorities said Zuma underwent unspecified surgery and was in hospital with more operations planned.

Zuma, serving a 15-month sentence in Estcourt prison for contempt of court, was sent to a hospital outside for observation on August 6, days before the start of a corruption trial he has thus far avoided.

A high court had postponed his corruption trial to September 9 after his hospitalisation.

Zuma, whose jailing in July ignited looting and unrest, faces charges with co-accused, French defence firm Thales, over a $2 billion arms deal corruption case that led to his sacking as South Africa’s deputy president in 2005.

Zuma and Thales have denied the allegations.