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UPDATE: Correctional Service to appeal Zuma medical parole ruling

Former President Jacob Zuma. The Department of Correctional Services has also joined those who are appealing a high court ruling that has found Arthur Fraser acted unlawfully in granting Zuma medical parole. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo. African News Agency (ANA)

Former President Jacob Zuma. The Department of Correctional Services has also joined those who are appealing a high court ruling that has found Arthur Fraser acted unlawfully in granting Zuma medical parole. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo. African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 15, 2021

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Durban – The department of correctional services, the former employer of Arthur Fraser, has just like former President Jacob Zuma, announced that it would appeal the ruling of the North Gauteng (Pretoria) High Court that nullified the medical parole of the former head of state.

After studying the judgment throughout Wednesday, the department said there are prospects of seeing a higher court ruling in its favour as some acts were "misrepresented" by the presiding judge.

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On Wednesday, the high court ruled that the medical parole that freed Zuma on 5 September 2021, two months into his 15 months’ sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court, is null and void.

Furthermore, the court ordered that Zuma should be sent back to the dark rooms of Estcourt prison in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands where he was booked for his jail term and the time spent outside should not count.

In part of its 34-page long judgment, the high court said the decision by the former boss of the department, Fraser, saw Zuma serving three months at home instead of in a cell, as directed by the Constitutional Court.

It also said that reports showed that Zuma was not terminally ill, which was what the parole board, whose decision was overruled by Fraser, had said. That was because Zuma was seen in a meeting in Durban with close supporters, and he also virtually addressed a rally convened by his supporters, also in Durban.

“The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will be appealing the judgment handed down by the  Gauteng Division of the High Court, Pretoria, on the medical parole placement of former president, Mr  Jacob Zuma. Having carefully studied the judgment, DCS is convinced that another court may arrive at a different conclusion.

“DCS is of the view that the court sadly misinterpreted the Correctional Services Act and erred in declaring the decision of the National Commissioner to place Mr Zuma on Medical Parole to be unlawful and setting it aside. We will outline the grounds of appeal in the papers that we will be filing in court in due course.” the department said in a statement.

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Fraser, the department and Zuma were respondents in the court case that was meant to set aside the parole as unlawful.

In announcing Zuma’s appeal, which has thrown a spanner in the works, the Jacob Zuma Foundation, of which the former president is a patron, said the court had erred and there is the likelihood that another court could reach a different conclusion.

“The learned judge, with respect, erred and/or committed a gross misdirection of fact and/or of law,” reads part of the appeal notice filed promptly after the ruling on Wednesday.

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Both appeals come as Zuma backers and sympathizers are still fuming over the ruling.

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