Monday, September 06, 2021

Former President Jacob Zuma granted medical parole

Former President Jacob Zuma has been placed on medical parole.

This was confirmed by the Department of Correctional Services on Sunday.

Zuma is serving a 15-month jail term in KwaZulu-Natal for contempt of court, after failing to appear before the State Capture inquiry.

In a statement, the Correctional Services Department said Zuma’s medical parole’s eligibility is impelled by a medical report received by the department.

“Apart from being terminally ill and physically incapacitated, inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care can also be considered for medical parole.

“The risk of re-offending of released inmates must also below and there must be appropriate arrangements for the inmate’s supervision, care and treatment within the community to which the inmate is to be released.”

Nxumalo says the medical parole placement for Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of his sentence in the system of community corrections.

“Medical Parole can only be revoked if an offender does not comply with the placement conditions. We want to reiterate that placement on medical parole is an option available to all sentenced offenders provided they meet all the requirements.’’

Freedom Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald says he’s not surprised by this announcement

‘’The fact that former President Jacob Zuma served most of his prison sentence in the hospital wing of the Estcourt Correctional Services Centre proves that he was receiving preferential treatment and it, therefore, comes as no surprise that he has now been granted medical parole. The FF Plus warned against a rehash of the Schabir Shaik case, where hospitalisation and an alleged serious disease served as an easy way to avoid serving his prison sentence.’’

‘’It is abundantly clear that what transpired with Zuma is indeed a rehash of the Shaik-method to avoid punishment. This apparent custom of special treatment for some is undermining the country's criminal justice system,’’ added Groenewald.

 The DA’s John Steenhuisen, says granting Zuma medical parole, makes ‘’a complete mockery of the law’’

‘’The granting of medical parole to former president Jacob Zuma by the Department of Correctional Services is entirely unlawful and makes a mockery of the Correctional Matters Amendment Act of 2011.’’

‘’A report on the health status of any prisoner must be subject to recommendation by an  independent board to confirm, in truth, that a prisoner is indeed deserving of medical parole. Given that Jacob Zuma publicly refused to be examined by an independent medical professional, let alone a medical advisory board, this decision is a violation of the Act and therefore unlawful,’’ added Steenhuisen.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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