Former South African President Jacob Zuma, who has been embroiled in corruption scandals, is currently undergoing medical treatment in Russia, according to his spokesperson.
This announcement comes a day after the nation’s highest court upheld a ruling ordering his return to prison.
“Zuma travelled to Russia last week for health reasons,” the 81-year-old’s spokesman Mzwanele Manyi said in a statement.
“He will be returning to the country once his doctors have completed their treatment,” Manyi said.
The constitutional court reaffirmed a ruling on Thursday that Jacob Zuma must serve a 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court. The court dismissed an appeal that aimed to prevent his incarceration, thereby upholding the decision to send him back to jail.
Zuma served as president from 2009 to 2018 before being forced out by graft scandals.
In June 2021, Jacob Zuma received a sentence for his refusal to testify before a panel investigating corruption and favoritism during his time in office. However, he was granted medical parole just two months into his prison term.
This decision was later reversed and has now been upheld, affirming that he must serve the remainder of his sentence.
Zuma belongs to the generation of anti-apartheid fighters who received support from the Soviet Union during their struggle and have maintained political or personal connections with Moscow.