Jacob Zuma, the former South African President has been freed from serving further time in prison after being issued a remission status.
A remission status is usually granted to low-risk and non-violent offenders.
Speaking to the media, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola disclosed that the remission decision was taken to address overcrowding in prisons. He says that this “remission process” kicked off in April.
Zuma handed himself over at Escourt prison, in KwaZulu-Natal at 0600 local time (0400GMT) on Friday, and was “admitted” into the system, South Africa’s Commissioner of Prisons Makgothi Thobakgale said.
The ex-premier was then released an hour later under a special remission process. The remission status was given a nod by President Cyril Ramaphosa to more than 9,000 low-risk prisoners.
Zuma was sentenced in June 2021 to 15 months behind bars for contempt of court after refusing to testify before a panel probing financial sleaze and cronyism under his presidency.
He was however freed on medical parole just two months into his term.
His jailing prompted protests that descended into riots and looting that left more than 350 dead.
An appeals court last November found that the release was illegally granted and ordered Zuma back to prison to finish his sentence. Last month, the constitutional court rejected an attempt to overturn this decision.