The prison sentence of beleaguered ex-South African President Jacob Zuma officially ended on Friday, with correctional services saying he had been released from their system having served only part of his term behind bars.
The former Head of State was jailed for 15 months for contempt of court in July last year after refusing to testify before a graft inquiry – but was released on medical parole two months later.
“It is a day of mixed emotions,” Zuma said in a statement on Friday, thanking his supporters for speaking out against what he said was an “unjust and cruel incarceration.”
“I am relieved to be free again to walk around and do whatever I want to do without restrictions.”
He compared his release to the day in 1973 when he walked out of Cape Town’s notorious Robben Island prison, where he had been jailed as an apartheid-era political prisoner with Nelson Mandela.