Thursday, 22 July 2021 10:18

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Former president Jacob Zuma has been granted permission to attend his brother's funeral in Nkandla on Thursday.

The Department of Correctional Services has confirmed that the former president has been granted compassionate leave.

Zuma's brother, Michael, died last week at the age of 77 shortly after Zuma started his prison sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Centre. The Constitutional Court handed Zuma a 15-month sentence for defying its order for him to appear before the Zondo Commission on state capture and corruption.

On Tuesday, Zuma applied for temporary release from jail to attend his brother's funeral.

Michael Zuma's funeral was supposed to have taken place last weekend. It was, however, postponed to allow the department to process Zuma's application to attend the burial.

Correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said Zuma had been granted compassionate leave in line with the Correctional Services Act, allowing him to "attend to a family bereavement".

"As a short-term, low-risk classified inmate, Mr Zuma's application for compassionate leave was processed and approved following the correctional services prescripts," Nxumalo said.

The permission has been granted only for Thursday.

In granting him permission, the department had to consider various elements including what activity Zuma wanted to attend, how long he would be temporarily released and the security risks involved as he still needed to be protected by the department.