Johannesburg – Former President Jacob Zuma will not be handcuffed or dressed in orange overalls when he attends his brother’s funeral expected to be held later today (Thursday) at his ancestral village of KwaNxamalala in eNkandla, northern KZN.
Singabakho Nxumalo, spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services said this was a standard practice to ensure that the inmate does not suffer prejudice.
“The dignity of the inmate is of paramount importance and that is why even the security detail often use unmarked vehicles when escorting the inmate for a funeral. It must also be difficult for those in attendance to notice that something is amiss,” he said.
Nxumalo would not be drawn into revealing as to how many days will the former statesman be afforded as part of the compassionate leave, saying this would constitute a security threat. He said Zuma was classified as a short term and a low-risk offender which enabled his application to be successful.
As reported on Sunday by our print publication tha Correctional Services National Commissioner Arthur Fraser had already given Zuma’s application the green light.
Zuma’s application for a temporary waiver was being kept under wraps with correctional services waiting until the eleventh hour to announce that Zuma had applied for the leave of absence to attend the funeral of his younger brother Michael Zuma.
Michael who passed away last week after battling undisclosed illness was family spokesperson during Zuma’s presidency.
The former president is currently serving a 15 months contempt of court sentence in Escort prison.
There was mounting pressure from the religious community and human rights organizations that Zuma should be afforded his constitutional rights to bury his loved one.
Fears were rife that Zuma’s prison break might lead to pro – Zuma forces regrouping and ignite violence that has engulfed the country calling for his release.
According to Section 44 (1)(a) of the Correctional Services Act, an inmate is allowed to attend a funeral outside of prison after applying for a temporary absence.
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