South Africa


Jacob Zuma admitted to hospital on Friday for ‘medical observation’

Former president Jacob Zuma in the dock at the Pietermaritzburg High Court. (Photo: Sandile Ndlovu)

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”.

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


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All Comments 32

  • SURPRISE!!! Next move will be to the golf course with his mate shabir 🙂 The last thing jz wants is to face Billy and answer questions. I think he’d rather die?

  • Haha….here we go!
    In the steps of Sheik and Porrit…
    Such an old trick and the last vestige of cowardice!
    It appears that he doesn’t really want his day in court as requested….ever!
    Embarrassing really! But I wouldn’t expect anything different!

  • “No need to be alarmed…yet”?????
    Why would we be alarmed by this news?
    What is alarming is his ANC factions coup attempt and insurrection between 9-16July. That’s what’s alarming!!!! And I don’t think I’m alone in this

  • The inevitable – especially after the race card has failed. Use of a medical certificate when all else has failed is the last refuge of the scoundrel in SA. So now some corrupt ANC supporting doctors will fill in one of their boiler plate ‘terminal illness’ certificates and Zuma will soon be back amongst the many welcoming bosoms of his family.

  • Hate to be cynical but it’s uncannily on cue. He’s following the playbook very carefully. The symptoms came on suddenly (after the judge called his bluff about appearing live [no pun intended] in court ).

  • His “financial adviser” Schabir trained him well. Next step will be the “terminal illness declaration” then golf lessons.

  • What if all SA citizens of his age insisted on hospitalisation for a routine medical check up – who do they think they are fooling now?!!

  • Let’s motivate for a totally impartial medial assessment by professions appointed by the UN; and I would totally support us as taxpayers paying for their visit and assessment!
    That would be a worthwhile spend of taxpayers’ money.

  • Army doctors? Are they planning a military Coup? Why couldn’t the army meds attend him in prison? He’s less likely to get COVID-19 there.

  • Jacob, get well soon, we all hope you have a full recovery before Tuesday. We know you really want to be in court to clear your name

  • Oh come on! Entirely predictable. Day in court? Inevitably will be delayed. Has this loathsome apology for a man been vaccinated? Presumably not, “medical reasons” will again be given. The delayed day then arrives? No, back in hospital. Covid? Other? Another half-baked medical certificate from his SADF medical “expert” (is there such an animal?) and he will then be released from his current sentence on grounds of “good behaviour.” Back to Nkandla for tea with Dali, Bheki, Julius, etc, etc, etc. Plus looking forward to his day in court. And, and, and.

  • This move is clearly meant to keep him out of court, but also has the purpose of giving ammunition to those comrades claiming that it is all a political plot against “president” Zuma.