The Helen Suzman Foundation has become the latest entity to file a legal challenge to former President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole, claiming it was unconstitutionally granted.
Francis Antonie, a director at the foundation, said in court papers filed with the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday that the September 5 parole was illegal because the country’s prisons boss, Arthur Fraser, misinterpreted the act he relied on to overrule the parole board, which had said Zuma was in a stable condition.
In his affidavit on behalf of the foundation, Antonie requests that the high court rule on the matter as soon as possible because any delays would harm the rule of law and benefit Zuma unduly.
Among those cited in the papers are Fraser and Zuma himself. “First, delaying this review until a hearing in the ordinary course risks irreparable harm to the rule of law. The Constitutional Court sentenced Mr Zuma to 15 months’ imprisonment, as the necessary sentence to defend our constitutional democracy, the rule of law, and the administration of justice,” Antonie said.
Zuma was out of the Estcourt prison at the time of his release after the military health services whisked him to Pretoria to be treated for an undisclosed ailment. Antonie asks the court to overturn Fraser’s decision and prevent Zuma from benefiting from the 10 days granted to him through parole.
“The HSF will also argue that in the exercise of its just and equitable power, the Court should grant relief ensuring that Mr Zuma does not unduly benefit from the hiatus in his jail time and that the full 15 months sentence is served.
“To the extent that any future medical parole decision is to be taken, that may only occur within the prescripts of the law as articulated by this Court in its judgment.