Zondo commission backs off from challenging Jacob Zuma's medical parole

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Sep 22, 2021

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Durban – The Zondo Commission, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo who approached the Constitutional Court to jail former president Jacob Zuma for contempt, says it is compiling its final report, and will no longer challenge his medical parole.

The commission has been cited in court papers filed in the North Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) by the DA and Afriforum (the Helen Suzman Foundation has also filed papers), challenging the September 5 parole granted by Correctional Services commissioner, Arthur Fraser.

In essence, the three parties are arguing the parole was irrational, and Fraser overstepped the mark and misinterpreted the act which grants him the powers to unilaterally parole inmates who are ill. This was after Fraser publicly admitted that the internal medical parole board ruled that Zuma was in a stable condition, thus he could not qualify to be freed on medical grounds.

At that time Zuma was serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court and he was jailed at Estcourt prison in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands before being admitted to a military hospital where he continues to be treated.

But the Zondo Commission on Wednesday said it was no longer interested in the matter.

"The Commission has noted that the DA and AfriForum have each launched separate applications in the Gauteng Division of the High Court to challenge the lawfulness of the decision of the Commissioner of Correctional Services to grant Mr Jacob Zuma medical parole. In each of those applications the Commission has been cited as one of the respondents.

"The Commission wishes to announce that it will not be taking part in any of the proceedings. It has instructed the State Attorney to deliver a notice to the Registrar of the Court and other parties that the Commission will abide the decision of the Court. At this stage the Commission is focussing on wrapping up its work and completing its report," the Zondo commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

The high court is yet to set a date for the case which all the three applicants urged was urgent as any delays could see Zuma benefiting from what they termed an illegal and irrational decision by Fraser.

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Political Bureau

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