FORMER president Jacob Zuma reported back to prison on Friday only to be swiftly released, in the latest twist over the 81-year-old’s contempt of court sentence.
Zuma was ordered to report back to prison and arrived at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) at a detention facility in the eastern town of Estcourt where he was “admitted into the system”, the prison service said.
But he was let go in just over an hour as part of a “remission process” aiming to address overcrowding in prison, according to Correctional Services national commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale.
“Upon admission into the system he was subjected to administrative processes… He was then released,” Thobakgale told a press conference in Pretoria.
Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in June 2021 after refusing to testify before a panel probing financial corruption and cronyism under his presidency — but was freed on medical parole just two months into his term.
He started serving his term early in July 2021.
His jailing sparked protests that descended into riots and looting that left more than 350 dead in the worst violence to hit the country since the advent of democracy in South Africa.
The following month, he was admitted to hospital for an undisclosed condition before being granted medical parole.