Former president Jacob Zuma has been granted permission to attend his brother’s funeral.
The Department of Correctional Services has confirmed that the former president has been granted compassionate leave.
Zuma’s brother, Michael, died last week at the age of 77, shortly after Zuma started his prison sentence at Estcourt Correctional Services Centre. The Constitutional Court handed Zuma a 15-month sentence for defying its order for him to appear before the Zondo Commission investigating state capture and corruption.
On Tuesday, Zuma applied for a temporary release from jail to attend his brother’s funeral, which was confirmed by the department on Wednesday, according to the Witness.
According to the Witness, Michael’s funeral was supposed to have taken place last weekend. It was, however, postponed to allow the department to process Zuma’s application to attend the burial.
Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said Zuma had been granted compassionate leave in line with the Correctional Services Act, allowing him to “attend to a family bereavement”.
“As a short-term, low-risk classified inmate, Mr Zuma’s application for compassionate leave was processed and approved following the correctional services prescripts,” Nxumalo said.
The permission has been granted only for Thursday.
“A sentenced offender who is granted permission to leave a correctional centre remains a sentenced offender even while temporarily outside,” Nxumalo said.