Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma
By Biodun Busari

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has regained his freedom following the expiration of his prison term for contempt of court.

The country’s government official disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

Zuma bagged a 15-month sentence last year after he flouted instructions to participate in a corruption inquiry.

Read also: Jacob Zuma: 117 have died in riots, 2,200 arrested

He surrendered himself to South African authorities on July 7, 2021, to begin his jail term causing the worst violence the country had experienced in years as his disgruntled supporters flooded the streets.

Reacting to his freedom, Reuters reported that Zuma said he felt relieved to be a free man and thanked his supporters.

“The messages of support on social media and other platforms kept me strong and focused on ensuring that those who wanted to break my spirit and resolve do not succeed,” Zuma said.

The ex-president was released on a medical condition in September 2021. But in December, the high court set aside the parole decision and ordered him to return to jail. Zuma appealed the judgment and remained on parole pending the appeal outcome.

“Mr Zuma complied with his conditions for medical parole as set out during his placement,” the Correctional Services department said in a statement.

“All administrative processes have now been concluded and the sentence expiry date marks the end of him serving his sentence under community corrections.”

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