Former South African president Jacob Zuma slipped quietly back into his Nkandla home Wednesday amid reports he deliberately timed a low-key return to avoid wild welcome celebrations from his followers.
The embattled former state leader was discharged from a Gauteng hospital same day.
“He is in his Nkandla home but he will be returning to spend the whole of next week in Johannesburg. We are just happy that he is fine and things are somewhat back to normal, though not 100% yet,” a source told South African media Wednesday.
The 79-year-old former head of state was sentenced to 15 months jail for contempt of court.
His imprisonment ignited wild protests among some South Africans in scenes that saw over 200 killed in the skirmishes while both private and public property was looted and destroyed.
Zuma spent several weeks of his incarceration in the medical wing of the Estcourt Correctional Centre before being moved to an external hospital for further treatment.
Zuma’s family, friends and relatives in kwaDakwadunuse who were eagerly awaiting his return had planned to give him a hero’s welcome. Celebrations that were planned had included a prayer and the slaughtering of bulls to give thanks to the ancestors for Zuma’s safe return.
At the time, Zuma’s other brother Khanya said, “Usually when something good happens we slaughter cows to say thank you, but we have not met to discuss how we are going to celebrate.”