South Africa’s jailed ex-President Jacob Zuma in hospital

Jacob Zuma

FILE – In this Sunday July 4, 2021 file photo, former president Jacob Zuma addresses the press at his home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. Zuma has been admitted to hospital for observation at a hospital outside the Estcourt Correctional Center where he is currently serving a 15-month jail sentence, the government announced on Friday Aug. 6 2021. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed, File)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been admitted for observation at a hospital near the Estcourt Correctional Center where he is currently serving a 15-month prison sentence, the government announced on Friday.

Zuma is in prison for defying a Constitutional Court order to testify at a state-backed inquiry probing allegations of corruption during his presidential term from 2009 to 2018.

A routine checkup indicated that Zuma should be admitted to a hospital, according to the correctional services department’s statement.

“As a former president, the healthcare needs of Mr. Zuma require the involvement of the South African Military Health Services. This has been the case since his admission at Estcourt Correctional Center,” the statement said.

Zuma’s jailing last month sparked violent riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, which quickly descended into widespread looting of shopping centers and the torching of trucks in KwaZulu-Natal. More than 330 people died in the rioting and more than R20 billion ($1.36 billion) in property was destroyed.

Zuma has filed an application for his prison sentence to be rescinded by the Constitutional Court, and is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court next week in a separate trial for corruption.

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