Details of former president Jacob Zuma’s pending incarceration will only be finalised when he is formally admitted as a prisoner.
Department of correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that it was “premature to predict” in which prison Zuma would be serving his sentence.
“It is difficult to predict when you don’t have that person in front of you, or a warrant of detention. It is only at that point, once the person has been brought to us and we have a warrant of detention, that we make an assessment and then determine the centre that would house that person,” he said.
When asked if Zuma, a diabetic, would receive diabetic-friendly meals or medical treatment behind bars, Nxumalo said the former president was not yet in the correctional services system, therefore it would be difficult to answer these questions.
“We can’t make that assumption. We don’t have Mr Zuma in our system. We can when he will be processed, assessed and admitted.
“I am now talking in general, but if he has a medical condition, it would be addressed. At this stage, we really cannot say anything,” he said.
On Tuesday the Constitutional Court sentenced the former president to 15 months behind bars after he was found guilty of contempt of court for failure to comply with an order issued by it to honour a summons to appear before the state capture inquiry.
“The only appropriate sanction is a direct unsuspended order of imprisonment,” said acting deputy chief justice Sisi Khampepe.
She said: “Never before has the judicial process been so threatened.
“If, with impunity, litigants are allowed to decide which orders they may wish to obey and which they wish to ignore, then our constitution is not worth the paper on which it is written.”
Zuma snubbed the inquiry and attacked the integrity of some of its officials, including inquiry chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
He has five days to hand himself over to authorities to start serving his sentence.