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AfriForum files court papers to review Zuma release

Former president Jacob Zuma. File Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency/ANA

Former president Jacob Zuma. File Picture Leon Lestrade. African News Agency/ANA

Published Sep 15, 2021


Pretoria – Civil rights organisation, AfriForum on Wednesday said it served an urgent court application, against six respondents in the case regarding the release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole.

These respondents include Zuma, the national commissioner of correctional services Arthur Fraser, the medical parole board, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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Ernst Roets, head of policy and action at AfriForum said the matter is of national importance, and added that “it is a shame if people are treated favourably on the basis of their political prestige”.

"We regard this application as urgent because this is a clear case of abuse of power by the government on the basis of a person's political position,” said Roets.

“It is also clear to us that the applicable legal provisions to release someone on medical parole have not been complied with, which is why we ask in our application that the decision to release Zuma on medical parole be reversed.”

On Tuesday, the Helen Suzman Foundation also joined the list of entities to legally challenge the medical parole granted to Zuma, saying it was unconstitutionally authorised.

In court papers filed with the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday, Francis Antonie, a director at the foundation, said the September 5 parole was illegal as the country's prisons boss, Fraser, misinterpreted the act he relied on to overrule the parole board which had said Zuma was in a stable condition.

In his affidavit on behalf of the foundation, Antonie wants the high court to rule on the matter urgently because any delays would harm the rule of law and Zuma may unduly benefit.

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At the time of his parole, Zuma was out of the Estcourt prison after the health military health services whisked him to Pretoria to treat him for an undisclosed ailment.

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Jacob Zuma