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Zuma the centre of attention alongside leaders who attended BRICS gala dinner

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Published Aug 25, 2023


Johannesburg - Despite his legal woes, former president Jacob Zuma was the centre of attention alongside leaders who attended the BRICS gala dinner at the Gallagher Convention Centre on Wednesday.

Pictures of a smiling Zuma next to alleged fugitive and former Botswana president Ian Khama at the gala dinner have since been circulating on social media.

Zuma and Khama seemed glued to the other, as he was pictured smiling and mingling with the likes of President Cyril Ramaphosa, former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela, and other dignitaries.

Zuma set tongues wagging in recent weeks after he did a U-turn in prison, where he was due to return to complete his 15-month sentence for contempt of a Constitutional Court order.

According to the Department of Correctional Services acting national commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale, Zuma was escorted to Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal on August 11.

Zuma arrived at the prison but only spent a few hours there before he was released after it was announced he would be benefiting from a special remission of prison sentences for non-violent offenders approved by Ramaphosa.

The former president, who is the first beneficiary of the special remission from jail time, has since sparked significant debates in the country; however, Correctional Services said he would not be the only beneficiary.

According to the department, a further 9 488 prisoners are to be released under the process.

Offenders convicted for non-violent and non-sexual crimes will be eligible for up to 24 months of remission after completing the pre-release programme, a risk assessment, and providing fingerprints and DNA samples for comparison to the SAPS database.

The Star