Jacob Zuma from South Africa gets medical parole

Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, was released on medical parole just over two months after being sentenced to jail on c...


Jacob Zuma, the former president of South Africa, was released on medical parole just over two months after being sentenced to jail on contempt charges.

The government’s Corrections Department said in a declaration Sunday that Mr. Zuma’s parole was “motivated by a medical report,” but she did not provide any details on the nature of his illness. Mr Zuma was admitted to a hospital to undergo the first of several medical procedures last month, then said the ministry.

Zuma will serve the remainder of his 15-month sentence under supervision in the community corrections system, the department said, adding that he would be under “supervision until the expiration of his sentence.” But he gave no details on exactly where he would serve his parole.

His release comes after his stunning fall as a once famous freedom fighter who fought apartheid alongside Nelson Mandela and was a powerful figure in the ruling African National Congress.

Mr. Zuma, 79, was forced to resign in 2018 after being rejected by the ANC, threatened by a vote of no confidence in Parliament and abandoned by millions of voters. He was taken into custody on July 7 after South Africa’s highest court found him in contempt for refusing to appear before a commission investigating allegations of widespread corruption during his nine years to the presidency.

John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance, the South African opposition party, said in a statement on Sunday that Mr Zuma’s medical parole was “totally illegal” and a “mockery” of the correctional law from the country.

“Jacob Zuma has publicly refused to be examined by an independent medical professional, let alone a medical advisory board,” Steenhuisen said, adding that such an evaluation was required by law for a prisoner can obtain medical parole.

The One South Africa movement, which focuses on political solutions to South Africa’s development challenges, said in a press release on Twitter that the government’s decision was questionable and lacked transparency.

Under South African Prison Law, medically release prisoners include terminally ill prisoners serving a sentence of 24 months or less; those who are physically incapable; and prisoners suffering from an illness which severely limits their daily activity or their ability to care for themselves. The risk of recurrence should also be low.

“We call on all South Africans to give dignity to Mr. Zuma as he continues to receive medical treatment,” the correctional service said.

A foundation named after Mr. Zuma, which posted on twitter that he welcomed the decision, said he was still in the hospital.

When Mr. Zuma was detained in July, his supporters argued that he had been treated unfairly and that sentencing him to jail without trial was unconstitutional. Some have called for the closure of his home province, KwaZulu-Natal.

The protests have left several dead, tens of millions of dollars in damage and the disruption of the national coronavirus vaccination program.

President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the army to curb civil unrest, describing it as one of the worst in the country’s history.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Jacob Zuma from South Africa gets medical parole
Jacob Zuma from South Africa gets medical parole
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