- Images of former president Jacob Zuma being processed at the Estcourt prison have found their way onto social media.
- The Department of Correctional Services said the images were on an SD card which was allegedly stolen.
- The department has opened a criminal case, and an official has been handed a suspension notice.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has opened a criminal case after the alleged theft of an SD card containing images of former president Jacob Zuma being processed at the Estcourt prison.
Zuma was taken into police custody less than an hour before midnight on Wednesday after a night of high drama during which a phalanx of heavily armed police units was on its way to arrest the former statesman at his home in Nkandla in rural KwaZulu-Natal, News24 previously reported.
He was due to hand himself over to police after the Constitutional Court found him guilty of contempt of court after he failed to give evidence at the State Capture Commission.
Zuma missed the court-ordered deadline to hand himself over, and police were on the cusp of failing to meet their deadline to arrest him when he ultimately surrendered on Wednesday evening.
Not even a day after Zuma started his 15-month prison sentence, images of him in prison have surfaced on social media.
The DCS alleged that a camera card, which contained the images, was stolen.
"It has come to the attention of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) that images were stolen from a camera of the official who had been assigned to take photos for institutional filing purposes," DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said.
"The SD card was removed from the camera, and the matter is highly sensitive and is being investigated by both SAPS and DCS."
"The official involved has also been contemplated with a suspension notice."
Nxumalo said their internal investigation had so far revealed the SD card may have been shared with a known broadcaster and that the department would approach the relevant institutions for further action.
"DCS condemns in strongest possible terms such action and will leave no stone unturned in bringing to book those behind it."
While Zuma would be spending his second night behind bars on Thursday, he had already brought two applications in a bid to stay out of prison.
The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg was expected to rule on his application to stay his arrest on Friday morning.
At the same time, the apex court agreed to hear his application for rescission of its ruling and sentence on Monday.