Zuma's presence in Russia for medical treatment follows the Constitutional Court’s rejection of a request by the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, wherein it sought permission to appeal a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal. The ruling determined that Zuma should return to prison because his release on medical parole was considered invalid.
The potential outcome could result in Zuma's return to prison, this effectively two years after his initial arrest, which incited widespread protests causing at least 337 fatalities.
The former president was due to be incarcerated in June 2021 on charges of contempt. In July 2021, he surrendered himself to authorities, but after two months, he was granted medical parole due to his deteriorating health condition.
This followed his refusal to comply with a court order to appear before a corruption inquiry that investigated financial scandals during his time as the country's leader from 2009 to 2018.
Zuma also faces separate charges of corruption related to an arms procurement scandal that occurred in the late 1990s during his tenure as vice-president.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation has declined to detail the ailment that former President Jacob Zuma is apparently being treated for in Russia.
“Although the trip was private, it was not a secret as incorrectly suggested. H.E President Zuma and his team travelled on a commercial flight full of passengers,” said Mzwanele Manyi, JGZ Foundation’s spokesperson.
The DA has demanded the immediate detention of the former president.
Police Minister Bheki Cele has affirmed that the police will carry out any instructions issued by the Department of Correctional Services regarding the potential arrest of former President Jacob Zuma.