Is This Image of Jacob Zuma in Prison Doctored?

By Naomi Wanjiku

In a Facebook post, a social media user claims Mr Zuma is adapting well to the prison environment. The post shows an image of former South African president, Jacob Zuma, alongside other inmates all dressed in orange uniform.

“Comrade Zuma is acclimatising well. Thanks to him, the correctional system in Azania experienced major reforms during his presidency. He made his bed and is lying on it. #UhuRuto fanya mambo!” the post reads.


This altered image of Zuma in prison has also been shared here, and here.

However, a reverse image search reveals that the photo has been altered because Mr Zuma does not appear in the original image as seen here.

A further search shows that the original image was taken by AFP’s Anna Zieminski on 12 October 2002.

The image was taken when the inmates at Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, were observing a moment of silence for all inmates living with HIV/AIDS. Correctional minister, Ben Skosana, had visited the prison to get feedback on the delivery of services at the centre.

“He identified the four major problem areas in correctional services to be over-crowding, staff shortage; budget constraints and a need to professionalise their staff. The problem of ‘awaiting trial’, prisoners who could wait for up to six years before going to court was also highlighted,” the AFP caption reads.

Mr Zuma turned himself in on 7 July 2021, to start his 15-month sentence for contempt of court. Zuma was sentenced after he failed to obey a February court order directing him to testify at an inquiry examining corruption during his nine years in office.

Zuma has claimed that he is a victim of a political witch hunt and has accused the head of the inquiry, the deputy chief justice, Raymond Zondo, of being biased against him.

The former president had been given until Wednesday midnight 7 July 2021, to present himself to the police after which he would be arrested. However, just before midnight, Zuma was admitted to the Estcourt Correctional Center near his home in KwaZulu-Natal province, the Department of Correctional Services confirmed.

As a result of the jailing of Zuma, violence has erupted in South Africa, with more than 72 people reportedly killed in the riots as of Tuesday, 13 July 2021.

The chief executive officer of Business Leadership South Africa, Busisiwe Mavuso, told the Bloomberg news agency that 200 shopping malls had been looted by 12 July 2021.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has termed the violence as some of the worst since the 1990s. Ramaphosa called for calm in his address and said the military would be deployed in the affected provinces.


PesaCheck has looked into a Facebook post claiming to show former South African president, Jacob Zuma, in prison and finds it to be ALTERED.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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