Imprisoned former president Jacob Zuma was today admitted to an outside hospital for medical observation.
This was confirmed in a statement on Friday morning by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). It said a ’’routine observation’’ by the Military Health Services prompted that the 79-year-old Zuma be admitted to hospital.
The health of inmates is addressed under Section 35(2) of the Constitution. This obliges the Department of Correctional Services 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.’’
’’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.
’’A routine observation prompted that Mr Zuma be taken for in-hospitalisation,’’ the department said.
Zuma was admitted to a correctional facility in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, late on July 7 to start serving a 15-month jail sentence handed to him by the Constitutional Court for contempt of court.
If healthy enough to attend, the former president will be allowed out of jail next week to attend a long-running arms deal corruption trial in person rather than by video link.
The hearing, scheduled to resume in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 10, “shall proceed in an open court”, Judge Piet Koen said.
In July 2015, Zuma was admitted to hospital to remove gall stones. The gall stones were discovered about two months previously during a routine medical check-up.