September 06, 2021

South Africa: Former President Granted Medical Parole

Convicted former South African president, Jacob Zuma, has been granted parole on medical grounds.

The 79-year-old politician is currently serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court at Estcourt Correctional Centre in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Last month, he was admitted to a private hospital for an undisclosed ailment, and underwent surgery.

On Sunday, 5 September, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) released a statement, in which they announced that Zuma –described as “terminally ill and physically incapacitated” – would be placed on medical parole, whereby he must “comply with a specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires.”

The move has been largely criticised by opposition parties and civil society.Democratic Alliance leader, John Steenhuisen, said: “The granting of medical parole to former President Jacob Zuma by the Department of Correctional Services is entirely unlawful.”

Civil rights group, AfriForum, declared that it would fight the DCS’s decision and consult its legal team about an “urgent review application.”

Zuma is expected to appear in another trial this Thursday, 9 September, regarding his involvement in corruption under his time as president.

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