LISTEN | Zuma's parole under spotlight on Tuesday as parties question his release

23 November 2021 - 06:00
Former president Jacob Zuma's release was unlawful for two reasons, says DA leader John Steenhuisen. File photo.
Former president Jacob Zuma's release was unlawful for two reasons, says DA leader John Steenhuisen. File photo.
Image: Lulama Zenzile

The decision to release former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole will come under scrutiny in the Pretoria high court on Tuesday.

The questions are to come from the DA, AfriForum and the Helen Suzman Foundation.

In September, AfriForum became the third organisation to launch an urgent court application seeking to set aside the decision by correctional services head Arthur Fraser to release Zuma. Fraser admitted in an interview with the SABC that he took the decision to grant Zuma parole.

In the interview, Fraser also admitted the medical parole advisory board, which is the expert medical body established under the Correctional Services Act, did not approve medical parole because it indicated that Zuma was in a stable condition.

The DA wants an order substituting the decision with one rejecting Zuma's application for medical parole.

It also seeks an order directing that Zuma be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said Fraser's decision to grant Zuma parole was unlawful for two reasons.

“First, on a proper interpretation of the [Correctional Services] act and the regulations, the commissioner is precluded from granting medical parole if the board recommends that an inmate not be granted medical parole,” he said.

Steenhuisen said, alternatively, the commissioner's decision was materially influenced by an error of law in believing that he was entitled to grant medical parole when the board had concluded that Zuma was not ill enough to warrant it.

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