Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
30 Oct 2021
7:05 pm

Arthur Fraser details reasons behind Zuma’s medical parole in court papers

Citizen Reporter

The former Correctional boss has insisted that he took the decision in line with Correctional Services Act.

Former Correctional Services national commissioner Arthur Fraser - Picture: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais

Former Correctional Services national commissioner Arthur Fraser has yet again defended his decision to release former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole.

Parole

Fraser has argued that he granted Zuma parole to avoid any unrest, which may have been triggered if the former president’s health was put at risk, News24 reported.

The former Correctional boss, in his affidavit filed at the Pretoria High Court, dismissed claims that his “perceived relationship” to Zuma was the reason behind his decision.

“I also submit that [Zuma’s] political standing had nothing to do with his placement on medical parole,” he said.

In June, the Constitutional Court found Zuma in contempt of its previous order for him to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture for questioning and sentenced him to 15 months behind bars.

Two months later, however, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) announced the former president had been granted medical parole.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa gave ‘approval’ for Zuma’s release on parole – report

During an interview with SABC two days later, Fraser admitted that the Medical Parole Advisory Board had in fact not recommended Zuma’s early release, but that he had overruled it.

In his papers, Fraser further defends his decision, saying that he had considered “the events that occurred during the month of July 2021 and specifically around the period when [Zuma] was incarcerated”.

The looting of shops and violent unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng had took place in July.

The violence, which left more than 300 people dead, was ostensibly sparked by Zuma’s imprisonment.

Meanwhile, the former Correctional boss also denied overriding the Medical Parole Advisory Board, insisting that he “took the decision in line with the discretion and the authority conferred on me by the Correctional Services Act”.

Challenges

Fraser was responding to a legal challenge to the lawfulness of Zuma’s release.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum legally challenged Zuma’s medical parole, filing their papers with the Pretoria High Court last month.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said the party would argue on the grounds that the DCS did not follow the proper channels before making the decision.

AfriForum policy head Ernst Roets called the parole a “violation of justice” that could not be accepted.

READ MORE: Zuma’s medical parole: DA, Helen Suzman Foundation, AfriForum demand answers

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) also entered the legal fray and argued that the lack of transparency “makes a mockery of the rule of the law” in another Constitutional Court bid to overturn it.

The HSF’s case – like the DA’s – has two parts.

In the first, it wants a record of the decision. In the second, it wants the decision reviewed and set aside and substituted with one denying Zuma parole.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Wicks, Vhahangwele Nemakonde and Thapelo Lekabe