Embattled former South African president undergoes surgery

Jacob Zuma, the imprisoned former president of South Africa, underwent unspecified surgery on Sunday and remains in hospital, with further surgeries expected, according to prison officials. 

Zuma, who is serving a 15-month term in Estcourt for contempt of court, was admitted to a hospital for observation on Aug. 6, just days before the start of a corruption trial he has so far managed to escape.

“Mr Zuma underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday, 14 August 2021, with other procedures scheduled for the coming days,” prison spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement.

There was no announcement on a possible release date for Zuma, who sought the country’s top court in July to overturn his incarceration, claiming it was unjust and that catching COVID-19 would kill him.

Following his hospitalization, a high court postponed his corruption trial until Sept. 9. Zuma’s medical condition is unknown, but the judge has ordered his legal team to deliver a medical report by Aug. 20.

The prosecutors have the option of appointing a doctor to determine if Zuma is fit to stand trial.

Zuma, whose detention last month sparked looting and unrest, is accused of a $2 billion arms deal corruption case with co-accused Thales (TCFP.PA), which led to his dismissal as South Africa’s deputy president in 2005. 

The charges have been refuted by Zuma and Thales.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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