Former President Jacob Zuma (79) underwent surgery – Needs 6 months to recover

South African President Jacob Zuma waves as he arrives at the First National Bank (FNB) Stadium, also known as Soccer City, ahead of the national memorial service for late former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg December 10, 2013. World leaders from U.S. President Barack Obama to Cuba's Raul Castro joined thousands of South Africans to honour Mandela on Tuesday in a memorial that will celebrate his gift for uniting enemies across political and racial divides. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS OBITUARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Former President Jacob Zuma underwent surgery on Saturday at a hospital outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal where he is serving a 15-month sentence, the department of correctional services (DCS) said.

“Mr Zuma underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday, 14 August 2021, with other procedures scheduled for the coming days. As a result, DCS is unable to predict a discharge date as our priority at this stage is for Mr Zuma to be afforded the best care possible,” the department said in a statement on Sunday.

“As inmates are placed in correctional centres involuntarily, the state has a total and inescapable responsibility and duty to care for them in a manner that does not violate or compromise their constitutional rights, which include access to healthcare.


“We appeal to all people to refrain from speculating on the health of Mr Zuma and allow medical practitioners space to continue providing quality healthcare to him.”

Zuma, 79, is serving jail time for contempt of court after he ignored an order to testify before the state capture commission of inquiry.

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