Former President Jacob Zuma has been granted leave to appeal a High Court ruling ordering him back to prison.
Senior Counsel Maribolla Mphahlele, representing the Correctional Services Department, argued against Zuma’s return to jail, maintaining the former statesman did not place himself on medical parole.
This follows the Gauteng High Court ruling on November 15, that former National Commissioner for Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser, committed an unlawful act by placing Zuma on medical parole. It also ordered him to return to prison for the remainder of his 15-month sentence.
In his judgment, Justice Keoagile Elias Matojane dismissed every argument given by Fraser for overruling the Medical Advisory Board’s recommendation as “irrational”, “irrelevant” and “an error of law”, and stated that Fraser had “unlawfully mitigated the punishment imposed by the Constitutional Court, thereby rendering it ineffective, undermining trust in the courts, the rule of law and the Constitution itself.”
Democratic Alliance and Helen Susman Foundation brought the matter to court to declare Zuma’s medical parole null and void.
Jacob Zuma’s legal team and the Correctional Services Department then applied for leave to appeal the judgment, which ordered him to return to prison.
In court documents, the Foundation argues that sending Zuma to Correctional Services, an institution that has a history of not providing medical care to a person with his condition, is tantamount to executing him.
Given Zuma’s age, Justice Matojane granted Zuma leave to appeal, saying another court might come to a different conclusion.