Good move or 'a favour for a friend'? SA split over Arthur Fraser overuling board on Zuma's medical parole

Fraser has garnered praise from some for his 'bold decision' and criticism from others who have accused him of being a 'Zuma person'

09 September 2021 - 11:00
Correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser told the SABC he took the decision to place former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole, despite a recommendation from the medical parole advisory board not to do so. File photo.
Correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser told the SABC he took the decision to place former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole, despite a recommendation from the medical parole advisory board not to do so. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais

The disclosure by correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser that he approved the release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole, has triggered mixed reactions on social media.

Fraser has garnered praise from some for his “bold decision” and criticism from others who have accused him of being a “Zuma person” and doing a favour for the former president. 

He told the SABC's Vuyo Mvoko on Wednesday that the medical parole board, after an assessment, did not approve of Zuma's release on medical parole because he was in a stable condition. In the interview, Fraser said he overruled the decision and ordered Zuma's release. 

The former president has been serving a 15-month sentence at the Estcourt correctional services facility. The sentence followed a Constitutional Court ruling in June after he defied its order to testify at the state capture commission.

Fraser said, like all inmates, Zuma underwent a medical assessment to ensure the facility was able to provide the health care he needed.

When you do the assessments, you then know what type of care must be given. When we deal with care, we deal with even dietary requirements. Every offender ... will have to be able to give a history of themselves, health and otherwise. Then we assess how we categorise them and how we are able to place them. This was the process applied [to Zuma],” he said.

Fraser said after the assessment, it became clear that the former president was “frail”.

“We then received further reports, medical reports, that indicated that he required specialised treatment and it was only around the third report that we received, where his medical team – the medical team, in conjunction with our team – indicated that he can no longer be kept in our facility because the type of care required we are not able to provide,” he said. 

Here are some of the responses on social media:


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