Former president would be permitted to apply for ‘compassionate leave’
“Mr Zuma is yet to apply for compassionate leave,” department spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said on Tuesday.
TimesLIVE asked the department whether Zuma, who is serving a 15-month sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal for contempt of court, would be granted permission to attend the funeral, and whether he had been informed that his younger brother, Michael, died on Sunday morning after a long illness.
Nxumalo responded: “Former president Jacob Zuma is doing well. Inmates are encouraged to keep contact with their families and public phones are available in our facilities should they opt to do so telephonically.”
Meanwhile, the Zuma family is yet to meet to discuss the funeral arrangements because some family members were stuck in Durban following violent looting in parts of the country.
Zuma’s 77-year-old brother Khanya said: “We will discuss the compassionate leave application with the family when we meet to discuss the funeral arrangements. We haven’t been able to meet because some family members are in Durban and have not been able to come to Nkandla because the roads are blocked.”
There are three remaining elders in the Zuma clan, including the former statesman, Khanya and 79-year-old Joseph.
On Tuesday, most family members were tested for Covid-19.
“We are all OK for now,” Khanya said, adding that the family would inform the nation when the funeral will take place.
He said the family was coming to grips with life without the former president’s presence at the homestead.
On Tuesday the Jacob Zuma Foundation, in a tweet, dispelled rumours that a high-level delegation went to visit Zuma in jail.