JOHANNESBURG-(MaraviPost)-The supreme court of appeal in South Africa has ruled that the country’s former president Jacob Zuma should return to prison to complete his sentence following unlawfully medical parole.
The court announced the decision on Monday, November 21, 2022 following his release from prison in September 2021.
“This court has now determined that Mr Zuma’s release on medical parole was unlawful.
“Mr Zuma in law has not finished serving this sentence. He must return to the Estcourt Correctional Center to do so,” reads the Supreme Court of Appeal’s judgment.
In 2021, Zuma was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment after ignoring a court order to testify at a government inquiry into widespread corruption during his near-decade as president, a tenure that ended in 2018 when incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him.
When Zuma’s jail term was announced, violent protests broke out that spiralled into looting, leaving 350 people dead.
However, in September he was granted medical parole by Arthur Fraser, the former national commissioner of correctional services despite not being recommended for it by the medical parole board.
He was later released after serving a fraction of the sentence before the high court setting aside the parole decision and ordered him to return to jail in December last year, TimesLive reported.
The high court’s order had declared that the time Zuma had spent on medical parole should not be counted as part of his sentence.
Zuma appealed the ruling. At the time of his release, he had served only two months of a 15-month term due to problems linked to high blood pressure, elevated levels of blood sugar and lesions of the colon. He remained on parole pending the appeal outcome.
Last month, his foundation announced that his sentence had expired and he was a free man. However, at the time his appeal had not been determined by the time his sentence expired.
Zuma assumed the office of the President in the country in 2009 before he was forced to step down in disgrace by the ANC in 2018 following mounting corruption allegations.
He has however remained a prominent figure among grassroots members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), particular in the fight against apartheid and is perceived as a defender of the poor and oppressed.