Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been released in exchange for a conditional pardon. He was serving a 15-month prison sentence. South African authorities said the decision was made due to the ill health of 79-year-old Zuma.
Zuma has been in prison since July on charges of contempt for the rule of law. He refuses to appear on a commission of inquiry into corruption during Zuma’s time as president. He led the country between 2009 and 2018.
According to the Prisons Ministry, Zuma will remain under close observation for the remainder of his sentence. A statement said Zuma would have to comply with “a specific set of measures”. More is not specified.
Zuma is currently in the hospital, but after his treatment is over, he can go home. It is not clear what exactly is wrong with him.
Because of his hospitalization, consideration of another corruption case was postponed a few weeks ago. Critics suspect Zuma is using his medical problems as an excuse not to face further charges. A follow-up to the corruption case is now scheduled for September 9.
Despite allegations of corruption, Zuma remains very popular with a segment of the population. His arrest in July led to widespread rioting and looting that resulted in the deaths of 300 South Africans.
These riots took place in Gauteng, the most important part of the country economically and politically, and in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Zuma from that province.
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