'Stupid' to suggest Zuma meeting at Durban casino was secret - foundation

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The Jacob Zuma Foundation has lashed out a Sunday Times report and photos of former President Jacob Zuma at Sibaya Casino in Durban. (Photo: Gallo Images)
The Jacob Zuma Foundation has lashed out a Sunday Times report and photos of former President Jacob Zuma at Sibaya Casino in Durban. (Photo: Gallo Images)
  • Former president Jacob Zuma was seen on Friday at Sibaya Casino in Durban. 
  • Zuma is out on medical parole after serving a fraction of his 15-month sentence for defying a Constitutional Court order to appear before the State Capture Commission. 
  • Zuma's visit to the Durban casino raised questions about his medical parole conditions.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has lashed out at a Sunday Times report and photos of former president Jacob Zuma at the Sibaya Casino in Durban.

Zuma was reportedly meeting close allies at the establishment owned by his friend, Durban businessman Vivian Reddy. Among those at the meeting was suspended ANC member and the spokesperson of the disbanded MKMVA Carl Niehaus and former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni. 

The foundation's spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi told News24 it was "stupid" to suggest that the meeting was "secret". 

"How can a meeting be secret in a public hotel? That alone is stupid. President Zuma is not short of secret venues. If that's what he wanted to have, why would he have a secret meeting? The report is stupid and it fails to differentiate between medical parole and house arrest. It's only when a person is under house arrest where you can question them being seen anywhere else other than by their house. If he was under house arrest this would have been very different," said Manyi. 

READ | When enemies come to burn your house, you must take them outside, Zuma tells followers

Zuma was jailed for contempt of court after he refused to appear before the State Capture Commission. Last month, the Department of Correctional Services announced that Zuma had secured medical parole after serving a fraction of his 15-month sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

Manyi said medical parole was not only for the terminally ill. 

He said:

There are other conditions for medical parole and not only for terminally ill patients. If you think that you would want to see president Zuma almost dying to deserve medical parole that is stupid. This is a very stupid report and people don't understand the facts and they are superficial.

Zuma's visit to the Durban casino raised questions about the medical parole conditions he was under. It comes after Zuma told supporters during a prayer service on Thursday that he could not attend the event because of the conditions. 

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) has been calling for the justice and correctional services departments to make Zuma's parole conditions public. 

ALSO READ | Zuma medical parole: Helen Suzman Foundation, DA tell court former president got special treatment

Casac executive secretary Lawson Naidoo said: "Casac believes that it is important for the Department of Correctional Services to disclose the terms and conditions of Mr Zuma's medical parole to prevent speculation and conjecture, and to assure South Africans that he is not receiving preferential treatment."

Meanwhile, Niehaus told News24: "I don't want to confirm anything to you."

Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo confirmed Zuma made a request to leave his residence to be in another town and this was approved by his monitoring official.

"We can, therefore, confirm that permission was granted. This is in line with his parole conditions," he added.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
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