Zuma Foundation concerned about former president’s health
Share this article:
Johannesburg - The Jacob Zuma Foundation says it is worried about the health and well being of former President Jacob Zuma since his incarceration on Thursday.
Zuma is in custody at the Estcourt Correctional Centre, serving his 15 months prison sentence following a Constitutional Court judgment after he was found guilty of contempt of court for defying the apex court.
The foundation’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said the cold weather in Estcourt was not good for the 79-year-old man sitting in a cold cell.
“We are very worried that Zuma’s health will deteriorate at a rapid rate and we are scared to think what's going to happen with his health.
“What has happened to Zuma is not helping his condition at all, he is a man with comorbidities and this incarceration is terrible for him both physically and psychologically,” said Manyi.
Ahead of Zuma’s arrest, his son, Edward, had told members of the media that his father was “on top of the world”.
Manyi said Zuma was a freedom fighter who fought for the liberation of South Africa.
“For a 79-year-old to be jailed by a democratic dispensation must be killing the man, so we are very worried that this thing is ravaging his health,” he said.
The Constitutional Court will hear former Zuma's application for a rescission of his 15-month sentence for contempt on Monday. Manyi said the foundation calls upon the ConCourt to self correct.
“We call upon the Concourt to respect the feelings of the people on the ground. We call upon the Concourt to implement the constitution as written not as opinions that they want to infer in the constitution.
“The constitution of this country has not been written for lawyers but written for the people of South Africa.
“Section 12 (1)(b) is very clear that detention without trial is wrong, Zuma is being denied all of this, what we are calling for is not the favour but calling for justice.
“What has happened to Zuma is not resemblant of justice. There will be no peace in South Africa as long as Zuma is jailed under bad conditions, this must be reversed by the constitutional court,” Manyi said.
Manyi said at the moment they cannot visit Zuma as he is in 14 days isolation. They tried to visit him but they were turned away at the gate.
“Only select people are allowed to visit him like lawyers. We have not received anything bad,” he said
On Thursday, pictures showing Zuma were leaked to the public on social media.
Manyi said the foundation is consulting lawyers on that matter because in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, the pictures were a violation of the law.
“The issue for us is that the person that took that picture through the window, if people could take pictures through the window you could shoot a gun through that window. We are worried about Zuma’s safety, he might be killed in this process.
“We are speaking to the lawyers about the rights and what needs to happen to remedy the situation. This could very well be a campaign to humiliate Zuma.
“A lot of haters in this country want to see Zuma in prison orange overalls. We call upon society to stop being hateful and prison officials to ensure the safety of Zuma,” Manyi said.
On Friday and in the early hours of Saturday morning, fiery protests engulfed KZN as supporters of the former president burnt 25 trucks on the N3 highway, demanding his release from jail.