One SA asks for rationale, AfriForum looks at legally challenging Zuma’s medical release

06 September 2021 - 06:36
AfriForum says former president Jacob Zuma's medical parole is a 'violation of justice'.
AfriForum says former president Jacob Zuma's medical parole is a 'violation of justice'.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU/ File photo

AfriForum on Sunday said it was looking into challenging former president Jacob Zuma’s release from prison on medical parole.

The civil rights group said it viewed Zuma’s release as a “violation of justice”,  and said it was “in consultation with its legal team about the possibility to apply for an urgent review application”.

Ernst Roets, head of policy and action at AfriForum, said: “The release of Zuma on medical parole is a very clear signal that people in this country are still being treated based on their political connections. This is a serious breach of justice and is something against which a very strong stance should be taken.”

On Sunday the department of correctional services announced Zuma would be released on medical parole. He had served 58 days as an inmate. Some of his incarceration time was spent in the medical wing at the Estcourt Correctional Services facility and some was spent in a hospital outside the prison.

Zuma started serving his sentence in July after he was found guilty of contempt of court for failure to comply with an order of the Constitutional Court to honour a summons to appear before the state capture inquiry.

He was sentenced to 15 months behind bars.

The One SA Movement (OSA) said it was seeking more transparency from the department of correctional services on how it reached its decision  to grant Zuma parole. 

OSA said it will submit a formal application, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, requesting the full record that led to the department’s decision.

“This is crucial to ensure the public is taken into confidence that government’s decision was in good faith, and is furnished with both reasons and rationale behind such a decision,” OSA said. 

Among the questions it wanted answered was who was on the panel that made the decision, what facts they dealt with and whether there was any political consideration.