Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

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.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

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

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

More top stories

R350 social relief grant not enough to live on

Nearly half of the population in South Africa — one of the most unequal countries in the world — is considered chronically poor.

US fashion contaminates Africa’s water

Untreated effluent from textile factories in in Lesotho, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius and Madagascar pours into rivers, contaminating the water

Deep seabed mining a threat to Africa’s coral reefs

The deep oceans are a fragile final frontier, largely unknown and untouched but mining companies and governments — other than those in Africa — are eying its mineral riches

Komodo dragon faces extinction

The world’s largest monitor lizard has moved up the red list for threatened species, with fewer than 4 000 of the species left
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×