Former president Jacob Zuma addresses his supporters outside his Nkandla home on Sunday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)
Former president Jacob Zuma addresses his supporters outside his Nkandla home on Sunday. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo African News Agency (ANA)

Zuma arrest saga: What can be expected when he gets to prison

By Vernon Mchunu Time of article published Jul 7, 2021

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DURBAN - When former president Jacob Zuma is jailed for his 15-month sentence, he will be subjected to a thorough screening that should determine his prisoner category.

Aside from checking his physical and mental health conditions for medical attention or suicidal vulnerability, Correctional Service officials will have to determine if he is a high-risk offender who should be kept in a maximum security section or, if for his own safety, he should be isolated from other inmates.

On arrival at a correction centre, most likely in an SAPS vehicle, the former commander of the Umkhonto we Sizwe intelligence wing will go through an administrative process leading to him being issued with the orange prison overall and an ID card. His personal valuables will be secured.

He will be taken on an orientation tour of the centre, which may be as thorough as the one he underwent at the Union Buildings after his inauguration as president of the Republic in 2009.

It is critical at this stage to orientate the offender with basic information about the processes that will be followed, says Singabakho Nxumalo, KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson for Correctional Services, who spoke generally about the processes that are carried out for offenders.

“(The assessment will be) done to determine the major risks and needs of the offender. The aim is to compile a holistic profile of the offender, considering all aspects such as developmental needs, care needs, corrections needs, social reintegration needs, security needs and facility needs,” says Nxumalo.

“A complete profile report will then be submitted with recommendations to the case management committee. This is to assist the system to determine the appropriate classification of the offender.

“The offender will then be taken to his cell and be monitored, as the first 24 hours are the most challenging for every inmate. The unit manager where the inmate is to be incarcerated has a duty to orientate the inmate and familiarise him/her with the structure of the centre.”

A regular meal, determined according to the department’s current meal plan, is based on various types of food, as well as portion sizes indicated on the current departmental ration scales.

He can expect to eat, for breakfast, cereal with milk and sugar, bread with margarine and a spread, tea or coffee with sugar and milk.

A light meal includes bread with margarine and a spread, vitamin-enriched fruit drink or fresh fruit or soup.

The main meal may be a protein-rich dish (animal protein), a starch dish, vegetable dishes (two types), and tea or coffee with sugar and milk.


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