South Africa’s court declares release of Jacob Zuma on parole unlawful

South Africa’s court declares release of Jacob Zuma on parole unlawful

The Constitutional Court of South Africa has ruled that the release from prison in September 2021 of former President Jacob Zuma was unlawful.

According to BBC reports, in June 2021, Mr Zuma was convicted for contempt and given a 15-month-term after refusing to cooperate with anti-corruption enquiry during his time in office.

The former head of the prison service later approved medical parole for him and freed him in September 2021, after just serving two months.

The decision was later set aside by a high court in December 2021, and ordered Mr Zuma to return to jail. But Mr Zuma appealed the ruling and remained free.

However, the Supreme Court eventually overturned the ruling in November 2022, ordering that the former president complete the remainder of his sentence in prison.

The court did not make a decision regarding whether Mr Zuma’s time on medical parole should be included when determining how long his prison sentence will be.

The Department of Correctional Services later petitioned the Constitutional Court to overturn the decision; however, on Thursday, the application was denied.

“On any conceivable basis, the commissioner’s decision was unlawful and unconstitutional. The high court was correct to set it aside,” the constitutional court reportedly ruled.

The prisons department has said it is studying the constitutional court’s judgement and will comment after seeking legal advice.

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