South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma, who on Thursday began a 15-month sentence for contempt, is serving his term at a jail in Estcourt, a small livestock town in southeastern KwaZulu-Natal province.
Here are some facts about the town, the jail and and the prison regimen.
– Located around 180 kilometres (110 miles) northwest of Durban, Estcourt was given its name in 1863 in honour of Thomas Estcourt, a British parliamentarian who sponsored settlers to migrate there.
– The town is best known for its bacon factory, one of the oldest in South Africa and home to a popular brand of bacon and spare ribs, Eskort.
– The Estcourt Correctional Centre is a medium-security prison which houses both youth and adult prisoners. Built in 1966, it was fully refurbished and re-opened in 2019 with state-of-the-art facilities.
– The prison has a capacity to hold 512 inmates and a training centre to provide offenders with marketable skills for after their release. Prisoners have access to television and use of public phones. Mobile phones are prohibited.
– The authorities insists Zuma will not be given any favourable treatment. He underwent standard medical checks and will spend the next 14 days in isolation in line with Covid-19 regulations, the Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said.