Jacob Zuma admitted to hospital on Friday for ‘medical observation’
The former president’s scheduled court appearance on Tuesday now ‘all depends on what the doctors say’, according to Correctional Services.
The Department of Correctional Services announced on Friday that former president Jacob Zuma has been admitted to a hospital outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre, where he has been serving a sentence for contempt of court.
“A routine observation prompted that Mr Zuma be taken for in-hospitalisation,” it said in a statement. He had been admitted for “medical observation”.
The 79-year-old former president, who insisted it would be a violation of his right to a fair trial to have his plea heard virtually, is scheduled to appear in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday for a plea application in his Arms Deal corruption trial. The court had ruled in his favour in his application for an in-person sitting.
The much-anticipated fraud and corruption trial has been nearly 20 years in the making.
Read in Daily Maverick: Jacob Zuma gets his day in court as judge orders physical hearing
Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo told Daily Maverick that Zuma’s scheduled court appearance “all depends on what the doctors say”. “If the doctors discharge him before then and say he’s fit to go there, he will attend [the hearing]. The medical experts will provide guidance in terms of Tuesday,” he said.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation said in a statement via Twitter on Friday that the former president was “attending to his annual medical routine 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.
— JGZuma Foundation (Official) (@JGZ_Foundation) August 6, 2021
In the Correctional Services statement, it said that as a Former President, “the healthcare needs of Mr Zuma require the involvement of the South African Military Health Services. This been the case since his admission at Estcourt Correctional Centre.” DM