Jacob Zuma medical parole

Photo by Emmanuel Croset / AFP

‘It is unlawful’: Decision to give Zuma medical parole faces legal challenge

Officials at Estcourt Prison may want to keep a certain cell block vacant – because the decision to place Jacob Zuma on medical parole is under scrutiny.

Jacob Zuma medical parole

Photo by Emmanuel Croset / AFP

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has come under fire this weekend, after they announced that former President Jacob Zuma would be released on medical parole – less than two months after he spent his first night behind bars in Estcourt Prison. However, a campaign to overturn the decision has already been launched.

Decision to put Zuma on medical parole branded ‘unlawful’

John Steenhuisen, the official leader of the opposition, has confirmed that he and the DA see the ruling as ‘unlawful’ – mainly because Zuma refused to properly disclose his medical records.

The DCS says that a letter received from medical professionals who have been treating uBaba swayed their decision. But Mr. Steenhuisen – cynical as ever – remains unconvinced by these claims.

“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.” | John Steenhuisen

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The department could soon find itself with a legal battle on its hands to try and justify this landmark verdict. Zuma DOES meet some of the eligibility criteria required for medical parole, but grey areas – namely related to the actual extent of his mystery illness – remain as a real sticking point.

  • Steenhuisen, therefore, wants to submit a PAIA request and highlight how the rules ‘may have been bent’ for Zuma.

“I will submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) for the records of the Parole Board to establish what criteria the Department of Correctional Services used to determine Jacob Zuma’s eligibility for medical parole. Granting it to Zuma is in direct contravention of the Correctional Matters Amendment Act.”