Jacob Zuma must return to prison, South African judge rules


JOHANNESBURG Former South African President Jacob Zuma, who was released from prison on medical parole in September, will return to serve the remaining 15 months in prison pending a corruption trial, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

The former president was jailed in June on a contempt charge for violating an order to appear before a corruption probe into tainted financial irregularities during his presidency from 2009 to 2018. But Mr. Zuma, 79, applied for medical parole within a month. It was granted after his imprisonment and two months in prison.

Mr. It is unclear when Zuma will return to prison. The country’s Department of Corrections said it was “studying the verdict.”

Mr. Zuma’s lawyers filed the appeal within hours of the verdict. Mr. They argued that the judge had ignored the doctor’s claim that Zuma was ill, and that a reform facility could not provide the necessary medical care. Sending him back to prison is “equivalent to the abolition of the death penalty in South Africa in 1995,” they said in a statement.

Mr. At the time of Zuma’s early release, the Reform Services Department said the move was “triggered by a medical report” but did not provide further details about the former president’s health. Wednesday’s verdict provided some insight.

He was remanded in custody in July to begin his sentence. Zuma was placed in the medical ward of a prison near his home in Enkandla, in the rural north of KwaZulu-Natal province. Within a month, a doctor who examined him, Mr. He described Zuma’s condition as “worrying,” pointing to “unpredictable cardiovascular and neurological events that could endanger his life.” Another found that his glucose, blood pressure and kidney function were “completely gone” after four weeks.

The Medical Parole Board rejected his application on the grounds that his illness was incurable and could be managed by prison health staff. But Mr. Arthur Fraser, Zuma’s political ally National Commissioner of Correctional Services has resigned after the board’s decision was overturned. Zuma was released.

NGOs and the country’s main opposition Democratic Alliance have asked the Supreme Court in the administrative capital, Pretoria, to reconsider the move. On Wednesday, Judge Kyogile set aside the Madogen Commissioner’s decision, calling it “irrational.” Zuma agreed with the Medical Parole Board that his condition had “not deteriorated permanently or reached an irreversible state.”

Mr. Mr Zuma said violence and looting in South Africa in July would recur after Zuma’s arrest. The judge rejected the commissioner’s claim that Zuma’s continued imprisonment would recur. The unrest, which began as a demonstration calling for his release, quickly gained momentum in the face of widespread economic discontent.

Following the verdict, the South African Human Rights Commission called for calm, fearing that annoying news on social media could lead to violence again. The African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, has said it will wait for a full response from the reform services sector before weighing in on the matter.

Judge Madogen added that Mr. Zuma also ordered that the time spent on medical parole could not be counted with his 15-month sentence.

At that time, Mr. Zuma published the book “The Words of a President: Jacob Zuma Speaks”.


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