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HomeMedico-LegalAfter SCA ruling, DA wants Zuma back in prison by Friday

After SCA ruling, DA wants Zuma back in prison by Friday

The DA wants Jacob Zuma back behind bars after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled this week that he should not have been released on medical parole, and upheld the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) December 2021 ruling reviewing and setting aside former Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser’s decision to release him.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation said the former statesman has instructed his legal team to advise him of his options within the next few weeks.

The court found that Zuma’s release on medical parole was unlawful but that the Correctional Services commissioner “must decide on the way forward”. Legal analyst Pierre de Vos, in his Constitutionally Speaking blog, said the court said Zuma’s personal physician, Dr QSM Mafa from the South African military, as well as the Surgeon General, had supported the application for medical parole.

"Mafa, he adds, seemed to have done so ‘by making claims about Zuma’s health that may not have been entirely accurate’." Mafa had responded to the question of whether the offender suffered ‘from a terminal disease or condition’ by answering ‘yes’, which De Vos notes was a ‘obviously not true’. De Vos says this raises questions about the reliability of medical certificates – provided by members of the SANDF medical services in other court proceedings as well as to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry – about Zuma’s health. ‘It will be interesting to see how credible courts will consider future sick notes of this kind to be.’

EWN reports that the matter relates to a 15-month jail term handed down to Zuma after he was found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to testify before the State Capture commission of inquiry.

He served less than two months before his release on medical parole.

The Foundation said while the medical parole in question was applied for by an independent medical doctor and granted by a Correctional Services official, Zuma is “being punished for both the application and the decision”.

It said although the SCA fell short of granting an order for Zuma's reimprisonment, the court hinted in the judgment that this may be one of the options available – despite the fact that the official expiry date of his sentence that was fully served passed on 7 October.

It labelled this an act of injustice, saying it was nothing but an exercise of cruelty and degrading punishment.

To impose further imprisonment after the expiry of a jail term is unheard of and is a textbook case of judicial overreach, once again, targeted at Zuma as an individual, said the Foundation.

Meanwhile, the DA wants the former President back behind bars by the end of the week.

Although it is up to Makgothi Thobakgale, acting commissioner, to decide whether the time Zuma spent on medical parole should count towards his sentence, the DA say he must return to prison in the meantime.

Through its lawyers, the party has now written to Thobakgale demanding Zuma be placed back behind bars by the close of business on Friday.

The letter, dated 21 November 2022, states that as a result of the SCA’s order, Jacob Zuma is obliged to return to the Estcourt Correctional Centre “immediately”. If he doesn’t, it states further, the commissioner is then obliged to ensure Zuma’s return to prison.

The party gave the Commissioner until yesterday (Wednesday) to confirm this.

On Tuesday, the Department of Correctional Services said it was still considering whether to appeal the SCA’s ruling, which could throw a spanner in the works.

If it were to lodge an appeal, that would automatically suspend the operation of the order handed down on Monday.


EWN article – After SCA ruling, DA wants Zuma back in jail by Friday (Open access)


EWN article – Zuma reaches out to legal counsel over SCA medical parole judgement (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Prison authorities: More surgery for Zuma; hospital discharge date unknown

Zuma’s medical parole unlawful and he must be returned to custody — High Court

Constitutionally Speaking – Zuma will have to spend at least two months behind bars before parole

Medical parole makes moot ‘racist’ DA’s application on Zuma


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