South Africa’s Zuma admitted to hospital from prison

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South Africa’s jailed former president Jacob Zuma was admitted to hospital for medical observation on Friday, the government’s Correctional Services department said.

Zuma has been incarcerated at Estcourt prison in Kwa-Zulu Natal since handing himself over on July 7 to serve a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. His jailing led to South Africa’s worst outbreak of violence in years.

A routine observation at the prison prompted authorities to take him to an outside hospital for further examination, a Correctional Services statement said.

“Everyone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including … medical treatment” the statement said.

It added that as a former president, Zuma’s healthcare needs required the involvement of South African Military Health Services.

Zuma, 79, was jailed for defying a constitutional court order to give evidence at an inquiry investigating high-level corruption during his nine years in office until 2018.

Protests by his supporters broke out when Zuma handed himself in and escalated into riots involving looting and arson that President Cyril Ramaphosa described as an “insurrection”. Source: Reuters (Reporting by by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Writing by Toby Chopra; Editing by Jon Boyle and Giles Elgood)