A high court in Pretoria has upturned the decision to place former South African president, Jacob Zuma on medical parole. The court has now he be returned to prison immediately.
The choice to place Jacob Zuma on medical parole was made by former Correctional Services commissioner Arthur Fraser, a decision which the court has now determined to be illegitimate.
“The decision of the first respondent (Mr. Arthur Fraser at the time) to place the third respondent on medical parole, taken on September 5, 2021, is reviewed, declared unlawful and set aside,” the judgment read.
“It is hereby directed the third respondent be returned to the custody of the department of correctional services to serve out the remainder of his sentence of imprisonment. It is declared the time the third respondent was out of jail on medical parole should not be counted for the fulfilment of the third respondent’s sentence of 15 months imposed by the Constitutional Court.”
Jacob Zuma was released from a correctional facility in Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal province in September 2021 on medical parole, two months into his 15-month sentence for refusing to obey a court order to appear before a commission of inquiry into the government and private sector corruption which flourished during his presidency. The Department of Correctional Services did not reveal the nature of his illness, but said at the time that parole could be granted to “inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care.” An official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, filed papers in the Pretoria High Court seeking to overturn the medical parole.
Jacob Zuma is accused of receiving 791 payments, totaling $284,000, between 1995 and 2004 from his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik and Mr Shaik’s companies, to help French arms manufacturer Thales secure lucrative defense contracts from the government, as part of the country’s multi-billion rand 1999 armaments deal.