Africa & World

Journalist charged for ’stealing’ Jacob Zuma prison photos

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A criminal case has been opened against a journalist who allegedly stole and distributed Jacob Zuma’s prison photos.

Correctional Services spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, on Saturday confirmed that the case was opened at Escourt police station after a prison warder claimed that the journalist, who cannot be named yet, stole his SD card with the Zuma pictures from his camera and later distributed them.

“She has been identified and all relevant information has been shared with (the) law enforcement (agency).

“A DCS official has also been suspended in this regard.

“The investigation continues in spite of these developments as we want to leave no stone unturned,” said Nxumalo.

The former president will not enjoy visits from his family as correctional services stamps its authority during his incarceration.

He handed himself to the police on Wednesday night after he was sentenced to 15 months behind bars for contempt of court.

Zuma was found guilty of contempt of court after he failed to give evidence at the state capture inquiry chaired by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

His legal team has in the meantime appealed to the DCS authorities to allow him, to at least, watch his recession application on TV tomorrow within their facilities.

Nxumalo on Saturday said Zuma was “a short term, low-risk classified inmate” who qualified to have a radio and a TV set.

“However, he remains in the isolation section of the facility as per Covid-19 regulations in the DCS, stipulating that newly admitted inmates must be isolated until cleared,” said Nxumalo.

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi on Saturday said they were more concerned about the former president’s safety and health.

“The family isn’t allowed to visit him in prison, only his lawyers and doctors are allowed to see him.

“It is cold for a man who will turn 80 on his next birthday,” Manyi said.

Nxumalo confirmed that only legal representatives could visit Zuma, under strict protocols due to Covid-19, and no other members of the family was allowed.

Manyi said they were concerned about Zuma’s safety.

“Some people managed to take photos of him inside the prison without his consent and knowledge, imagine if that camera person was carrying a gun.

“We are very concerned about his safety, he is in a vulnerable environment and anything can happen, they can kill him if they want to, or poison him if they wish to.”

Manyi said the foundation strongly condemned the violence that erupted in KwaZulu-Natal after Zuma was incarcerated at the Estcourt Correctional Centre on Wednesday night.

“We condemn the violence but we can’t control people’s anger.

“Zuma was detained without trial which is also violence against him.

“Steve Biko was killed while in detention.

“Zuma’s sentencing itself is also violence against his basic human rights.”

Manyi confirmed that Zuma launched two legal challenges in a bid to stay out of prison.

He confirmed that Zuma’s rescission application was expected to be argued tomorrow.

Zuma’s lawyer, advocate Dali Mpofu, argued in the Pietermaritzburg High Court that the warrant of arrest against his client should not be executed until the outcome of the rescission application.

Sunday Independent

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