DA goes to court to challenge Zuma’s medical parole
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THE DA’s opposition to the release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole has seen the party’s leader John Steenhuisen file papers in the Gauteng High Court to review and set aside Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser’s decision to release him.
Steenhuisen highlighted two reasons he believed the decision to release Zuma was wrong, claiming it was unlawful because it was taken against the recommendation of the Medical Parole Advisory Board not to grant medical parole to Zuma.
Further, 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), and not rationally connected to the purpose of medical parole or the information before the commissioner.
Steenhuisen said Zuma was imprisoned for contempt of court that was so serious it constituted a near-existential threat to the authority of the judicial system.
“Fraser’s parole decision harms the court in exactly the same way that Mr. Zuma’s contempt of court did.
“It again makes a mockery of the judicial process, sending the message to every South African that, as long as you are powerful and politically connected, you need not fear punishment for breaking the law. If you are sent to prison for your crimes, you will be let out well before the end of your sentence on 'medical parole',” Steenhuisen said.
He said it was a terrible indictment of President Cyril Ramaphosa that he not only failed to speak out against this "egregious" decision, but that he openly welcomed it. “Worse still, he facilitated it by deploying the deeply compromised Arthur Fraser to the position of Commissioner of Correctional Services in the first place.”
He added the ulterior purpose of placing Zuma on medical parole was a desperate attempt to placate the Zuma faction of the ANC ahead of the election.
“Ramaphosa continues to put the interests of the ANC ahead of the interests of South Africa, even if it risks destroying the rule of law, the very foundation of our democracy. The Democratic Alliance will use every means at our disposal to protect the Constitution and the rule of law from destruction by the ANC,” Steenhuisen said.
He said the DA would also fight the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment, which, he claimed, had enabled an abuse of power.
“Since 1998, we have warned ... that cadre deployment will destroy South Africa. Back then, we were derided as alarmist. Now, the evidence lies all around us,” Steenhuisen added.