Cabinet not divided over Jacob Zuma's incarceration, says Lamola

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said that he met Jacob Zuma in person and that he was his usual laughing self and did not say anything about his previous comments that the African National Congress (ANC) had abandoned him.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at a media briefing outside the Estcourt Correctional Service facility where former President Jacob Zuma is serving his 15-month sentence. Picture: YouTube screengrab/SABC.

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said that Cabinet was not divided over former President Jacob Zuma’s incarceration.

Lamola briefed the media on Zuma’s first day behind bars at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

He said that Zuma was his usual self, in high spirits and they did not talk politics.

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Minister Lamola said that he met Zuma in person and that he was his usual laughing self and did not say anything about his previous comments that the African National Congress (ANC) had abandoned him.

"We did not discuss any politics, I was just checking whether he was fine and he indicated that he was fine and in good spirits and that we could tell the country that he was in a dignified environment but there was no political discussion."

Lamola was asked if some of his colleagues in Cabinet did not agree with Zuma’s incarceration.

"Cabinet is not divided on this matter, we have respected the outcome of the Constitutional Court, we waited to implement what the court had said and we have no role on what the courts decide. As the executive, our role is to develop policy and also to execute. Cabinet understands that we all have to respect the rule of law and comply with the judgments of our courts."

Correctional Services officials said that Zuma was not receiving any special treatment but that his health and security assessments would determine whether he would share a cell or be on his own.

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