The Department of Correctional Services confirmed on Sunday, 5 September 2021, that former president Jacob Zuma has been placed on medical parole.
The department said Zuma – who was incarcerated at the Estcourt prison in KwaZulu-Natal for being in contempt of the Constitutional Court – was eligible for medical parole after the department received a medical report on the former president’s health.
“Medical parole placement for Mr Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, whereby he must comply with specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires,” the department said in a statement.”
Read the entire statement below:
The decision to place the former president on medical parole was reportedly signed off by the national Commissioner of Correctional Services Arthur Fraser who was the spy boss during Zuma’s presidency.
Fraser’s decision has raised questions in certain quarters, while others have lauded it, with the hashtag President Zuma trending on Twitter.
Karma playing In President Zuma’s fate, he was jailed by a clown who was retiring within a few weeks now he is freed by a hero whose contract ends in a few days time. Arthur Fraser is a legend. Mogoeng Mogoeng should come back and give us one last judgement before he retires. pic.twitter.com/YxDNkK3sST
— Mr Handsome (@Noxza_dube) September 6, 2021
It was reported that Fraser signed off on the medical parole just weeks before his contract was due to come to an end.
Change the institutions. Enforce the rule of law. And most of all, embrace liberty and a free market.
— Free Market Foundation (@FMFSouthAfrica) September 6, 2021
The decision to place the former president on medical parole also led to widespread speculation that this was similar to a move by his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik who was also released on medical parole though it later seemed as if he was in good health.
— 🇿🇦S.A For South Africans (@MpheleMphele) September 6, 2021
Meanwhile, following the announcement that Zuma will be placed on medical parole, late president Nelson Mandela’s former personal assistant Zelda la Grange took to Twitter to question why Zuma could not remain behind bars when paralympian Oscar Pistorius was still serving his sentence, which indicates that South African prisons can accommodate “people who suffer from these things”.
But Oscar is in prison? Surely then correctional service has facilities for people who suffer from these things? pic.twitter.com/NvuGy1b4Pr
— Zelda la Grange ©™✌ (@ZeldalaGrangeSA) September 5, 2021
Pistorius was convicted of the February 14, 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and is serving a six year sentence handed down on him in 2016.
You embarrassing yourself! Comparing a murderer to someone who who hasn’t been convicted of any crimes but just refused to go to court?? Make it make sense pic.twitter.com/vuYlo54YZy
— Pilot_21 (@Sbo_21) September 6, 2021
Some users pointed out to le Grange that her comparison missed the mark because the athlete was convicted for murder while the former president was sentenced to 15 months for being in contempt of court.
Ah that makes a huge difference. 24 months or less https://t.co/rhigx1G1aH
— Zelda la Grange ©™✌ (@ZeldalaGrangeSA) September 6, 2021
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