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Zuma released from prison on medical parole

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma has been released from jail on medical grounds.

The 79-year-old is serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court at Estcourt Correctional Centre.

Authorities chose not to disclose his illness but confirmed he would finish his sentence under special medical conditions.

Media reports in South Africa indicate Zuma has been in hospital for the past month where he has undergone surgery.

He will remain there until he has been discharged.

Zuma handed himself in to police in July after being sentenced for failing to attend an inquiry into corruption during his presidency.

His jailing was unprecedented for an ex-president, sparking violent protests and looting.

Though he was forced out of office by his own party in 2018, the African National Congress (ANC), he retains a loyal body of supporters, especially in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Zuma was sentenced on 29 June for defying an instruction to give evidence at an inquiry into corruption during his nine years in power.

He has testified only once at the inquiry into what has become known as “state capture” – meaning the siphoning off of state assets.

Businessmen have been accused of conspiring with politicians to influence the decision-making process while he was in office. Zuma has repeatedly said he is the victim of a political conspiracy.