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South African National Civic Organisation rejects court’s ruling sending Zuma back to jail

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Dec 20, 2021

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DURBAN - THE South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) has rejected the ongoing destruction of the separation of powers between the judiciary, legislature and the executive.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Sanco said it was convinced that there were forces, operating in dark corners, with an intention of plunging this country into further turmoil.

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This comes after High Court Judge Keoagile Elias Matojane revoked the medical parole authorised by former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser which saw former president Jacob Zuma walk out of Estcourt prison.

Matojane ordered the return of the former president to prison and that the time he spent on medical parole not be counted as time served in prison.

“As the Sanco we have noted a statement by the Jacob Zuma Foundation indicating that on Tuesday, his lawyers will argue his appeal against the ruling that he must return to jail.

“As Sanco we remain inundated with calls from ordinary members of society and civic bodies who are extremely angry with what appears to be sustained injustices meted out against Zuma – who is our member in good standing.”

The organisation said when civic bodies united and formed Sanco, the main objective was to take up struggles for a free and democratic state.

“Unfortunately, we never imagined that this country will at some stage have judiciary dictatorship as its feature. Signs of a judiciary dictatorship are there for every citizen of this country to see. Under normal circumstances, the role of judges and their courts ends when they impose sentences.

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“We find it strange that nowadays courts are telling government departments whether to release or not release inmates on parole. They are also close to questioning presidential parole as well.

“The Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services has the prerogative to grant or not grant parole to inmates sentenced to less than 24 months. Court can’t just usurp his powers. This will be allowed in a judiciary dictatorship. In addition, the minister of justice has a prerogative to grant or not grant parole to inmates sentenced to more than 24 months,” said secretary-general Richard Mkhungo.

He said critically, the minister or National Commissioner did not simply rubber-stamp recommendations of parole boards adding that there were many factors considered including national security in making a determination.

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Mkhungo further said Zuma’s fundamental rights, as a citizen and a pensioner, had been violated.

“The Alliance partners must face up to the consequences of his continuous persecution. We must correctly analyse the impact Zuma’s persecution is having on the fabric of society – on peace and stability in general. We must ask whether the rule of law is building a united and strong nation required to have a prosperous future.”

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