Former South African President, Jacob Zuma, has regained his freedom after his prison term for contempt of court expired. The country’s government official revealed this in a statement on Friday, October 7.
According to correctional services, he had been released from the prison system having served only part of his term behind bars.
“It is a day of mixed emotions,” Zuma said in a statement on Friday, thanking his supporters for speaking out against what he remarked was an “unjust and cruel incarceration.”
“I am relieved to be free again to walk around and do whatever I want to do without restrictions.”
Zuma has also compared his release to the day in 1973 when he walked out of Robben Island prison after he had been jailed as an apartheid-era political prisoner with Nelson Mandela.
The former Head of State had been imprisoned for 15 months for contempt of court in July 2021, after refusing to testify before a graft inquiry.
He surrendered himself to South African authorities on July 7, 2021, to start his prison term the worst violence the country had experienced in years as his disgruntled supporters flooded the streets.
The 80-year-old was granted parole, two months later after being admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed condition.
However, in December 2021, the high court set aside the parole decision and directed him to return to jail. Zuma thereafter appealed the judgment and remained on parole pending the appeal outcome.