ANC asks South Africans to pray for incarcerated Jacob Zuma as he undergoes another surgical procedure

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma gestures during a media briefing with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) at the Union Building in Pretoria November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: POLITICS)

Pretoria – The African National Congress (ANC) has asked South Africans to pray for former president Jacob Zuma, wishing him a “speedy recovery” after he underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday, and is set to undergo further surgery this week.

“The African National Congress wishes its former president, who is also former president of the Republic of South Africa, comrade Jacob Zuma, a speedy recovery,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.

“This follows confirmation by the department of correctional services that comrade Zuma underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday, 4 August 2021 while other procedures have been scheduled for the coming days. The ANC urges its members and the people of South Africa to keep Comrade Zuma in their thoughts and prayers during this time, and wish him a speedy recovery.”

The Department of Correctional Dervices (DCS) has confirmed that Zuma remains in an undisclosed hospital outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre where he is serving a 15-month sentence.

“Mr Zuma underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday, 14 August 2021, with other procedures scheduled for the coming days. As a result, DCS is unable to predict a discharge date as our priority at this stage is for Mr Zuma to be afforded the best care possible,” the department said in a statement.

“As inmates are placed in correctional centres involuntarily, the state has a total and inescapable responsibility and duty to care for them in a manner that does not violate or compromise their constitutional rights, which include access to health care.”

The department has appealed to the public to refrain from speculating on the health of Zuma and allow medical practitioners space to continue providing quality healthcare to him.

Zuma was hospitalised on August 6, for an undisclosed illness. At the time, the DCS said the decision to take Zuma for in-hospitalisation was made after a routine observation. DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said that as a former president, Zuma’s healthcare needs require the involvement of the South African Military Health Services.

The DCS previously said that everyone who is detained, including every sentenced prisoner, has the right to conditions of detention that are consistent with human dignity, including at least exercise and the provision, at state expense, of adequate accommodation, nutrition, reading material and medical treatment.

African News Agency (ANA)