Jacob Zuma should be equal before the law, says activist Cheryl Carolus
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Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma would be afforded the right – as with any prisoner – to apply for Presidential pardon or parole if he wanted to and when he qualified to do so.
Anti-apartheid activist Cheryl Carolus said the rule of law would be exerted equally to all, and South Africans should accept that.
“When we say that all shall be equal before the law, then that must apply in all respects and equally to the former president who is now in prison.
“If he chooses to seek a presidential pardon, then the law must definitely take its course,” she said.
Speaking on national TV, Carolus said Zuma and his family should also be afforded their privacy to deal with his arrest.
Political activist and former cell mate of Zuma, struggle stalwart Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim said that while it was never easy for someone to be imprisoned, Zuma’s incarceration this time around would be more comfortable.
Ebrahim said that when Zuma and he shared a prison cell in Robben Island during the apartheid era, they were subjected to “torturous” living conditions.
“While his age and health conditions are vastly different from all those years ago when we were in prison, the conditions at the prison would not be as bad and as torturous as back then,” Ebrahim said.
He said this time, Zuma would have access to proper healthcare, and his incarceration would be humane.
Reacting to Zuma’s arrest, Ebrahim said the former president did the right thing by eventually handing himself over to the correctional facility.
Zuma arrived at the fairly new R387 million correctional facility to start his 15-month sentence in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The facility, which opened about two years ago, consists of two units with a capacity to accommodate 512 inmates.
It also has a hospital section, training centre, maintenance workshop, logistics and other support structures.
Zuma will spend 14 days in isolation in the hospital section, as per Covid regulations, before an assessment is conducted to establish where in the prison he would be held for the rest of his sentence.