Former president Jacob Zuma, who was taken from prison for an unknown “emergency surgical procedure” carried out on Saturday, will undergo further surgery “in the coming days”, says the Department of Corrections Services, which says it cannot predict a date hospital discharge date.
He is serving a 15-month prison sentence in the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KZN for contempt of the Constitutional Court.
News24 reports that DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said Zuma had undergone a surgical procedure on Saturday, reports News24, “with other procedures scheduled for the coming days”.
“As a result, DCS is unable to predict a discharge date as our priority at this stage is for Mr Zuma to be afforded the best care possible,” he said. “As inmates are placed in correctional centres involuntarily, the state has a total and inescapable responsibility and duty to care for them in a manner that does not violate or compromise their constitutional rights, which include access to healthcare.”
A high-level military doctor recently told prison and prosecuting authorities that Zuma had suffered a “traumatic injury” late last year, and now needed “extensive emergency treatment” and six months of care to restore his health, a
Meanwhile, Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi has taken a swipe at the NPA for asking Zuma be taken for a second medical observation.
Speaking to the SABC on the weekend, Manyi said it was “concerning” that the NPA was “second guessing” the work of the doctors who are looking after Zuma at the SA Military Health Services where he apparently had surgery at the weekend.
His statement comes after the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) gave Zuma's lawyers until 20 August to submit a detailed report on his medical condition, notes TimesLIVE. In terms of the order, a medical practitioner appointed by the state will be given access to Zuma to assess his fitness to attend court and stand trial on corruption charges linked to the arms deal.
“The country must accept he is in the best care possible, which is why it is objectionable that we have lawyers of the NPA that would second guess a military type hospital that deals with heads of state (and) subject him to a second opinion from their private doctor. It’s uncalled for," said Manyi. He said the integrity of the hospital Zuma was admitted to should not be insulted as it had all the resources to take care of him.
According to TimesLIVE, he said Zuma was not “in some spaza shop medical environment”. “He is in a government-run hospital. We cannot have a situation where a hospital that is state run, when it pronounces that somebody is not well, some private individual who’s got some mysterious agenda to come and second guess… insulting the professional integrity of the doctors dealing with him.”
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