Former President Jacob Zuma has managed to avoid more jail time thanks to a special remission system that kicked in on Friday.
Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola addressed members of the media outlining the decision on Friday morning, alongside acting Correctional Services Commissioner Makgothi Thobakgale.
In July, the Constitutional Court upheld a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling that Zuma’s medical parole release, just two months into his 15-month contempt sentence, was unlawful.
In terms of that ruling, Zuma did not finish serving his sentence and had to return to the Estcourt Correctional Centre.
Thobakgale however announced on Friday morning that his sentence had been remitted.
According to the acting commissioner, Zuma reported to the Estcourt Correctional Centre at 6am on Friday morning for processing and was released just after 7am in terms of a special remission system that got underway on Friday.
This special remission system is apparently aimed at addressing overcrowding in the prisons and has been in the pipeline since April.
Asked why it’s starting on Friday, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said the recent fire at the Kutama Sinthumule Correctional Centre in Makhado, Limpopo, had exacerbated the already dire situation.
Some 9,000 inmates are apparently set to benefit from the special remission system.
Zuma appears to be the first.