Ex-South African president Jacob Zuma has quietly returned to the nation after undergoing weeks-long medical treatment in the Russian Federation.
His return to the country was made known to the public by the Jacob Zuma Foundation, of which he is the patron, on Wednesday morning, but it did not specify when exactly he returned to the country.
“The JG Zuma Foundation is glad to announce that its patron has recently returned from his medically-related trip to the Russian Federation,” it said.
“The check-up and observations went well.”
The foundation noted that Zuma thanked all those who kept him in their prayers.
“He wishes to thank all the progressive South African citizens and organizations who sent him good wishes and prayers during this period.”
It said his return has to do with the fact that he should be present at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday where he has initiated a private prosecution.
“His return was also necessitated by the private prosecution matter which will be sitting in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday August 4,” the foundation said.
“In terms of the law it is compulsory for the private prosecutor to appear whenever the accused persons appear in terms of the summons or as ordered by a judge.”
The foundation did not say anything about the pending issue of Zuma’s parole amid pressure from the Democratic Alliance(DA) to the correctional services department to jail Zuma following last month’s Constitutional Court ruling dismissing an application by the department.
The department wanted to appeal the ruling that his release on medical parole in September 2021 was unlawful.
It revealed the appeal, alongside Zuma’s application to intervene, had no prospects of success, effectively sending Zuma back to jail without giving timelines for when that should happen.
Zuma was thrown behind bars in July 2021 for refusing to abide by the court’s directive to appear before the Zondo Commission and testify.
His jailing sparked the July 2021 unrest that saw KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng businesses looted and burned, and over 350 people killed.
However, the then Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser granted him medical parole and freed him in September just three months into his 15-month sentence.
The DA, Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum challenged the decision in court and won when it was ruled that Zuma’s release was illegal.
Towards the end of last month, the department asked Zuma to make submissions to the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Makgothi Thobakgale before he decides on the matter of his parole.