According to the authorities, South Africa’s imprisoned ex-president Jacob Zuma was granted compassionate leave from prison on Thursday to attend his brother’s funeral.
Zuma, 79, was sentenced to 15 months in prison last month for contempt of court after ignoring graft investigators investigating his presidency.
On July 8, he surrendered to a jail in Estcourt, in the eastern province of South Africa, about an hour’s drive from his rural Nkandla home.
His detention provoked protests and looting that turned into the deadliest violence since apartheid ended, with at least 276 people killed.
Mr Zuma’s application for compassionate leave was processed and approved as a short-term, low-risk classified detainee, according to a statement released by the Department of Correctional Services on Thursday.
Zuma’s brother Michael’s funeral is scheduled for later Thursday in Nkandla, where Zuma is very popular.
According to local media, Zuma’s brother died at the age of 77 following a long illness.
Inmates in South Africa are normally permitted to attend the funerals of relatives, a privilege denied to the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, when incarcerated for opposing apartheid.
After nine years in office, Zuma was ousted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in 2018 over a series of graft scandals that arose during his presidency.