Former South African President Jacob Zuma, who is currently imprisoned, has undergone unspecified surgery and remains in the hospital, according to jail officials on Sunday.
Zuma, who is serving a 15-month sentence in Estcourt prison for contempt of court, was sent to a hospital outside the prison for observation on Aug. 6, just days before the commencement of a corruption trial he has so far dodged.
“On Saturday, 14 August 2021, Mr Zuma underwent a surgical procedure, with more treatments anticipated for the coming days,” jail spokesman Singabakho Nxumalo said in a statement.
There was no word on a potential discharge date for Zuma, who in July asked the country’s top court to reverse his incarceration, saying it was unjust and might kill him if he catches COVID-19.
Following his hospitalisation, a high court postponed his corruption trial to September 9. It is unknown what medical illness Zuma is suffering from, and the judge has asked his legal team to produce a medical report by Aug. 20.
Prosecutors may pick a doctor of their choice to determine Zuma’s fitness to stand trial.
Zuma, whose arrest last month sparked looting and unrest, is facing charges alongside a co-accused, French defence giant Thales (TCFP.PA), in connection with a $2 billion arms contract corruption scandal that resulted in his dismissal as South Africa’s deputy president in 2005.
Zuma and Thales have both disputed the claims.