No break for aging Msholozi as ConCourt denies parole appeal

Former president Jacob Zuma just cannot get a break since his release on medical parole, which the Department of Correctional Services has sought to confirm with the Constitutional Court but has now failed.

The demise of the department’s application for leave to appeal the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) order for Zuma to go back to prison triggers a fresh conundrum for both the state and Zuma, now 81 years of age.

The Constitutional Court, through the registrar, notified the department on Thursday that it had no prospects of success in its application for leave to appeal against the SCA ruling that Zuma’s release on medical parole was unlawful.

The SCA ruled in November 2022 that former correctional services chief Arthur Fraser unlawfully authorised Zuma’s release on medical parole in September 2021.

Despite Zuma being sentenced to 15 months in prison at Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, he only spent less than two months in jail.

The SCA unanimously ruled that he must return to prison and complete his sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court.

Spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, Mzwanele Manyi, said in response to the apex court’s decision that all enquiries should be forwarded to the department.

“It was only DCS [the department] that appealed the SCA judgment, and H.E president Zuma only applied for leave to intervene as an interested party only if the appeal was to take place,” said Manyi in a statement.

Since the apex court has refused the department leave to appeal, he said, Zuma’s application for leave to intervene naturally falls away since there were no pending proceedings in which to intervene.

The department said in a statement that it is studying the judgment. “DCS is seeking legal advice and will comment further in due course,” said spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.


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