South Africa's Jacob Zuma set free after prison term ends

Former South African President Jacob Zuma enters the High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on January 31, 2022. [File]

Former South African president Jacob Zuma has been set free following the expiry of his prison sentence for contempt of court, the government department said on Friday.

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

He handed himself in on July 7 last year to begin his sentence, triggering the worst violence South Africa had seen in years as his angry supporters took to the streets.

"It's OFFICIAL. H.E President Zuma is now a FREE man," the Jacob Zuma Foundation said in a tweet.

Zuma was released on medical parole in September 2021. But in December, the high court set aside the parole decision and ordered him to return to jail. Zuma appealed the ruling and remained on parole pending the appeal outcome.

His appeal had not been determined by the time his sentence expired.

"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."