Not yet clear where Jacob Zuma will serve his prison sentence

It goes without saying that former President Jacob Zuma is no ordinary inmate. So, who decides where he will be serving his 15-month jail sentence and what is the process of being admitted as a prisoner?

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the nation waits to see whether the former president will hand himself in, the Correctional Services Department said he would be processed according to their rules.

It goes without saying that former President Jacob Zuma is no ordinary inmate. So, who decides where he will be serving his 15-month jail sentence and what is the process of being admitted as a prisoner?

According to Correctional Services, a warrant of detention issued by a court specifies where a sentenced prisoner will be incarcerated.

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And as spokesperson Singabako Nxumalo explained, there were a series of steps which had to be followed.

“When a person is brought to us for admission, we then undertake an assessment exercise which we do for all inmates looking at the entire wellbeing of that particular person, health wise, security wise, where is the family of this person located and a whole range of other elements.”

Nxumalo said where an individual was not satisfied with the correctional facility to which they had been allocated, they could approach the courts.

“Other people will feel that they wouldn’t want to be placed there, they will even approach the courts, then if there’s an order of court saying no this person should be placed at this facility, we will have no choice but to place that person there. But what really guides us is the outcome of the assessment that we conduct because it looks at a range of factors."

Correctional Services said it could not say at this stage which facility would be best suited to house the former president as he was yet to be formally admitted as a prisoner.

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