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Former South Africa President Zuma is freed from prison on medical grounds

Published: Updated:

South Africa’s prisons service placed former President Jacob Zuma on medical parole, less than two months after he was jailed for contempt of court.

The authorities freed Zuma after receiving a medical report, the Department of Correctional Services said in a statement, without providing further details. Under the terms of Zuma’s release, he “must comply with a specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires, it said.

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Zuma was arrested on July 7 after being sentenced to 15 months in jail for defying a court order to testify at a graft inquiry. His detention triggered deadly riots by his supporters in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces that left at least 354 people dead.

A month after his arrest, Zuma was admitted to hospital for medical observation.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court, which jailed Zuma on June 29, is considering an application to review his conviction and sentence. Should the court acquit Zuma, his parole conditions will be dropped. It’s unclear when judgment will be handed down.

Zuma is separately standing trial on graft charges. That case is due to resume on Sept. 9.

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