Crime & Justice

Zuma loses appeal against probation revocation

Johannesburg, Nov 21 (EFE).- Former South African President Jacob Zuma lost a Monday appeal against a court ruling that revoked his parole for medical reasons and forced him to re-enter prison.

The Supreme Court of Appeal, based in Bloemfontein, the judicial capital of South Africa, unanimously confirmed that the medical parole granted in 2021 to Zuma by the then national commissioner of Prison Services was illegal Arthur Fraser.

In a decision written by Judge Tati Makgoka, the court said “Mr. Zuma, as a matter of law, has not finished serving his sentence.”

“He must return to the Correctional Center to do so. Whether the time Zuma spent on illegally granted medical parole is to be taken into account in determining the remaining term of his incarceration, it is not a matter for this Court to decide,” the court said.

“It is a matter for the commissioner (of Prison Services) to consider. If he is empowered by law to do so, the commissioner may take that period into account in determining any request or reason for release,” it added.

Zuma, 80, entered prison in early July 2021 after the Constitutional Court sentenced him to 15 months in prison for repeatedly refusing to testify in the framework of an investigation known as “Capture of the State” into corruption that affected the public apparatus when he was president.

Days later, massive riots and looting broke out in South Africa that, although they began as protests in support of the former president, degenerated into general violence spurred by the country’s serious socio-economic problems, which caused 354 deaths.

On Sep. 5, 2021, despite having served only about two months in prison, Zuma was granted a controversial conditional release for health reasons, the details of which were not made public.

In December of that year, the High Court of North Gauteng, based in Pretoria, declared the decision illegal, but Zuma did not return to jail because his lawyers began the proceedings of the appeal that the appeals court dismissed Monday.

In addition to the “State Capture” investigation, Zuma currently has a trial underway in connection with alleged bribes received through a late 1990s arms deal.

The former president and his supporters, however, attribute all the accusations to politically motivated persecution. EFE


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