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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Court official taken to task as appeal hearing on Zuma's medical parole pushed to August

Attorneys acting for the DA and the Helen Suzman Foundation wrote to Judge Maya, the President of the SCA, saying the matter had to be fast-tracked or otherwise it would only be resolved after Zuma’s term of imprisonment.

File Picture: Former President Jacob Zuma.

Published May 8, 2022

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The judiciary has confirmed that a Supreme Court of Appeal official is facing an internal disciplinary inquiry after failing to notify Judge Mandisa Maya of requests to deal with the appeal filed in respect of former President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole matter on an urgent basis.

Attorneys acting for the DA and the Helen Suzman Foundation wrote to Judge Maya, the President of the SCA, saying the matter had to be fast-tracked or otherwise it would only be resolved after Zuma’s term of imprisonment.

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However communication mishaps saw Judge Maya not receiving the e-mailed letters.

Zuma's sentence will end in October 2022 and requests were made for the appeal matter to be heard in the court session starting in February and again in May.

It is however expected that the appeal hearing will be heard in August.

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Zuma handed himself in on July 7 to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court after he did not participate in the state capture inquiry.

This triggered protests which led to looting and outrage over the hardship and inequality in the country.

Almost two months later former correctional services head Arthur Fraser granted Zuma medical parole but the DA, Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) and AfriForum sought recourse wanting the parole decision urgently reviewed and set aside and also seeking that Zuma’s time on medical parole not be counted as time served.

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Zuma and Fraser had opposed the applications. In December, Judge Keoagile Matojane of the North Gauteng high court ordered Zuma to return to jail, saying the granting of medical parole by Fraser was an unlawful intervention that undermined respect for South Africa’s courts, the rule of law, and the Constitution.

Zuma applied for leave to appeal which was granted by Judge Matojane later in December.

Judiciary spokesperson Nathi Mncube said: “I regret to confirm that the SCA official did not communicate with President Maya as expected. He has acknowledged this mistake and we will deal with the matter regarding his transgression internally. Furthermore, the court will communicate with the parties on how the matter will be dealt with going forward in view of the mistake.”

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