Sifiso Zulu

Bronwyn Fourie

Sifiso Zulu slept in his Medium-B jail cell for the first time on Thursday night, and this morning, just like each morning since then, he would have woken up to a breakfast of about seven slices of bread, with a dab of jam and butter – but only on the top slice.

Correction Services confirmed last week that Zulu had been moved from the prison hospital into his cell, but could not say how his medical assessments had gone.

Warders from the prison say Zulu is sharing a cell with up to 50 prisoners. If he is lucky, he may be in a cell of 39 criminals, the lowest number in a Medium-B cell.

Zulu’s new lifestyle will be a far cry from the one he was accustomed to outside the prison walls – with snazzy suits, parties and alcohol being replaced by prison overalls, communal eating and water. If he is well behaved, he will be let out into the prison yard for an hour, warders said.

But Zulu has been eased into prison life. After handing himself over to prison authorities on May 12, he was first admitted to the prison’s high-care unit, where he was sleeping on a hospital bed – the same bed, according to sources, that Schabir Shaik used.

The beds in the cells are steel.

The socialite would have at least had time to become accustomed to prison food. A prison source, however, said “young men” who had been visiting Zulu in hospital had been bringing him food.

But now he is on the real prison menu, eating food described by the warder as “grossly unappetising”.

“In the morning they will get a bit of runny porridge and six to eight slices of bread with one bit of butter and jam on the top slice. They will also get a cup of tea.”

For lunch, at about 2pm, Zulu and his fellow prisoners will enjoy some phutu with gravy and cabbage – which looks as if it has been boiled. They will also get a small piece of chicken, fish or pork. “It’s smaller than a quarter chicken from Nando’s,” the warder added.

With a cup of juice, this is the last proper meal for the day.

The bread from the morning, as well as another helping of a butter-and-jam stack given to him during the day, will have to last until the following morning.

Prisoners have access to water throughout the day.

Zulu received many visitors while in hospital – apparently also long after visiting hours. But if he follows the rules now, he will be able to have visitors only on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.