Legal challenges loom against Zuma’s medical parole

As widely expected, the Democratic Alliance says it will take the decision to grant former president Jacob Zuma medical parole on judicial review. 

At a briefing on the steps of parliament on Friday, DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party would approach the high court in Gauteng to set aside the “unlawful” medical parole granted to Zuma this past Sunday.

His announcement followed a letter sent by the Helen Suzman Foundation on Monday to the correctional services commissioner, Arthur Fraser, who approved Zuma’s parole, requesting that it be furnished with reasons for the former president’s early release. 

Zuma was sentenced to 15-months imprisonment in July after the constitutional court found him in contempt for failing to obey summons to testify at the inquiry into state capture during his presidency. The commission is chaired by acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

On Friday, Steenhuisen said the DA believed Zuma’s medical parole was “unlawful” for 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 medical parole in South Africa,” he said.

These sentiments were contained in the Helen Suzman Foundation’s letter to Fraser. The nonprofit said the parole decision was “shrouded in secrecy”, and asked the correctional services department to provide “full written reason for the decision”. 

Among other demands, the foundation asked for documents that formed part of the parole decision, including the medical report relied upon.

“Should you fail to deliver the above-mentioned information and documentation timeously or should the information [or] documentation not negate our client’s concerns about the lawfulness or otherwise of the decision, our client will have no option but to assume that there was no lawful basis for the decision and to exercise its legal rights, in its interest and in the public interest, on an urgent basis,” it read.

The deadline for Fraser’s response is Monday.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Athandiwe Saba
Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi award-winning journalist who is passionate about data, human interest issues, governance and everything that isn’t on social media. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

One Movie, Two Takes: Hustle

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to enjoy this new Netflix sports drama

WATCH LIVE: 200 Young South Africans 2022

M&G will showcase SA’s most versatile, innovative young professionals to inspire, ignite and prepare upcoming youth for a new world

Flying the flag for the youth

Emmy-nominated actress Thuso Mbedu credits inclusivity, equality, and sustainability to getting her career to where it is today. As a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South African, the actress encourages the youth to collaborate for a better future

Banning abortion criminalises femininity as it does race and poverty

Unpacking the reversal of Roe v Wade and the ruling in Dobbs v Jackson reveals a pushback against gains made by women
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×