By Kaya 959 Reporter
The DA and lobby group AfriForum are set to challenge Jacob Zuma’s medical parole.
The Department of Correctional Services on Sunday confirmed that they placed Zuma on medical parole after receiving a medical report.
Zuma has been undergoing treatment at a medical facility for almost two months. He is currently serving a 15-month contempt of court sentence after failing to appear before the Zondo Commission.
“Medical parole’s eligibility for Mr Zuma is impelled by a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services. Apart from being terminally ill and physically incapacitated, inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care can also be considered for medical parole,” said DCS spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo.
However, the DA’s John Steenhuisen said given Zuma’s public refusal to be examined by an independent medical professional, let alone a medical advisory board, this decision is a violation of the Correctional Matters Amendment Act and therefore unlawful.
He added that Zuma did not meet the criteria stipulated in the Act.
“It should also be noted that this medical parole was granted to Zuma by his former spy boss, Arthur Fraser – a man deeply implicated in the corruption of the State Security Agency and accused of running an illegal parallel intelligence structure,” he said.
Violation of justice
Steenhuisen said he will be submitting an application to access the records of the Parole Board to establish what criteria the Department of Correctional Services used to determine Jacob Zuma’s eligibility for medical parole.
Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum Ernst Roets said Zuma’s release is a violation of justice.
“We are consulting our legal team on the possibility of bringing an urgent review application,” he said.
However, the decision has been welcomed by the South African Prisoners Organisation for Human Rights.
Sapohr’s Golden Miles Bhudu said they wholeheartedly welcomed the decision and did not doubt the recommendations made by a medical practitioner.
He added that they hoped the same for less fortunate prisoners who were in similar or worse medical circumstances.