Decision to place Zuma on parole taken for ulterior motive, DA says

10 September 2021 - 13:50
The DA will apply to the high court to set aside the decision to place former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole. File photo.
The DA will apply to the high court to set aside the decision to place former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole. File photo.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

The decision by department of correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser to place former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole was unlawful for a number of reasons, DA leader John Steenhuisen said on Friday.

“I will today be applying to the Gauteng high court to review and set aside the decision taken by Arthur Fraser to place Jacob Zuma on medical parole,” Steenhuisen said on Friday morning.

He said the DA believed the decision made by Fraser was unlawful for at least two reasons.

“First, it was taken against the recommendation of the medical parole advisory board not to grant medical parole to Mr Zuma.

“Second, it was taken for an ulterior purpose not permitted by section 79 of the Correctional Services Act and regulations which govern the granting of the medical parole in SA, and it was not rationally connected to the purpose of medical parole or the information before the commissioner.”

Steenhuisen said the ulterior purpose of placing Zuma on medical parole was to solve a political problem for President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“He knows the elections are seven weeks away. He knows that structures in KwaZulu-Natal were in open revolt against him.”

He said there was a political imperative to ensure that Zuma was released so that he could participate in the ANC's elections campaign.

Steenhuisen said Zuma was imprisoned for contempt of court so serious that it constituted a near existential threat to the authority of the judicial system in SA.

“Mr Fraser's parole's decision harms the court in exactly the same way Mr Zuma's original defiance and contempt of the court did.

“It again makes a mockery of the judicial processes and sends a very clear message to SA that if you are politically connected you do not need to worry, because there is a different set of rules for the ANC and their cadres and another set of rules for the people of SA.”

Steenhuisen said it was a terrible indictment on Ramaphosa that he not only failed to speak against this egregious decision, but openly welcomed it.

“It was very clear he facilitated this as well by deploying Mr Fraser into the correctional services department in the first place, knowing full well Mr Fraser's allegations and charges hanging over his head from his time as the State Security Agency head, and having those confirmed when the high-level panel report by Mr [Sydney] Mufamadi was tabled.”

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