DURBAN - FORMER president Jacob Zuma’s spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said a communications glitch at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) that will delay the appeal hearing regarding Zuma’s medical parole, is another example of justice denied to the former statesman.
Mistakes by an official of the SCA led to SCA President Judge Mandisa Maya not being notified of two requests made for the matter to be treated as urgent.
Zuma’s matter could have been heard in February or May but now it is likely to be heard in August, which may lead to a courtroom clash as Zuma is facing charges at the Pietermaritzburg High Court linked to the 1990s arms deal.
Manyi said they were on record as saying that the justice system has not been fair to Zuma and that justice delayed, was justice denied.
“He has faced injustice even before his incarceration. It’s almost as if he is being put in a position where he must not win.”
Manyi said regardless of the communication errors that had led to the delay, Zuma was a disciplined member of society, he would give the system the benefit of doubt, and would patiently wait for his day in court.
“The issue we will take up when we get to the SCA is that the high court equated medical parole with freedom … he is still a prisoner and for a court to overlook that is absurd. That is a travesty of justice,” Manyi said.
Zuma handed himself in on July 7 last year to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court after he ignored instructions to participate in the state capture inquiry.
Almost two months later, former correctional services head Arthur Fraser granted Zuma medical parole but the DA, Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum sought recourse, wanting the parole decision urgently reviewed and set aside and also calling for Zuma’s time on medical parole to not be counted as time served.
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.
Zuma was granted leave to appeal by Judge Matojane. The judge said the matter raised an important point of public law and it merited the SCA’s interpretation of the provisions of the Correctional Services Act.