Cape Town – Former South African president Jacob Zuma, who was discharged from hospital on Wednesday last week, is reportedly unwell, and grand plans to celebrate his return home have apparently been put on hold.
Sources confirmed last week that he was discharged from a hospital in Gauteng and spent his first night at his Nkandla home on Wednesday night. It, however, still remained unclear what type of illness he was suffering from.
Zuma had been hospitalised since August 6 at a health facility outside the prison where he had been incarcerated for 15 months for ignoring a court order to testify before a judicial panel probing corruption during his nine-year tenure which lasted until 2018.
He was granted medical parole by the department of correctional services on September 5, and would, therefore, complete the rest of his sentence in a “system of community corrections”.
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According to Times Live, one of Zuma’s nephews, who preferred to remain anonymous but lived inside the Nkandla compound, said the former leader was not himself.
“Yes, he is home but he is not well. Yazi, even when you look at him, he is not the charming and ever-laughing JZ who is full of jokes,” the report quoted the nephew as saying.
Another of Zuma’s nephew, Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma of the kwaNxamalala Tribal authority, said there was nothing to celebrate:
“Though he’s not 100% OK, we have hope that he will recover fully. He is old, remember that and there was a little remainder of the poison he was given back in 2014, so he really has not been well.
“He went to Cuba to see the doctors and the courts did not believe that he was unwell. We are happy he is home but we will not be celebrating when justice has not been served. There is no need to celebrate his return, yet.”
Zuma’s spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, indicated a few days ago that his return home was kept low-key for security reasons.
Manyi also said at the time that Zuma remained “unwell”, although he was “walking, talking, breathing and laughing“.
“He (Zuma) is a good man so when he sees people, he smiles like a typical grandfather that in the face of adversity must still put up a brave face.
“But the man is not 100% well and the exact nature and all of those things, as you know, we cannot divulge but he’s walking, he’s talking, he’s breathing, he’s laughing,” said Manyi during an interview with Jacaranda FM.
Earlier this week, during proceedings at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, a legal team appointed by the state, which has been given access to Zuma’s medical records, deemed that he was fit to stand trial.
Zuma faces 16 counts of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and equipment from five European arms firms.
He is accused of taking bribes from one of the firms, French defence giant Thales, which has also been charged with corruption and money laundering.
Both have denied wrongdoing.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu