AfriForum says it will oppose former president Jacob Zuma’s application to appeal the Pretoria High Court’s judgment that reversed his medical parole and ordered that he return to jail.
The high court is set to hear Zuma’s leave to appeal application virtually on Tuesday, after Judge Elias Matojane ruled last week that the decision by the former national commissioner of correctional services Arthur Fraser, to place Zuma on medical parole in September was unlawful and should be set aside.
Despite Zuma being out on medical parole for nearly three months, Judge Matojane ordered that the time the former president had spent at home would not count toward the fulfilment of his sentence – meaning that he would have return to jail to serve one-quarter of his 15-month sentence.
The national commissioner of correctional services and Zuma were also ordered to pay the costs of the medical parole challenge.
AfriForum said on Monday its legal team would state reasons as to why Zuma’s attempt to appeal the high court’s ruling was “simply a waste of the court’s time”.
“Zuma’s legal team will appear in court on the same day to state why they want to appeal against the verdict. AfriForum’s legal team is of the opinion that Zuma’s appeal does not stand a reasonable chance of succeeding,” the organisation said in a terse statement.
Zuma was convicted of contempt of court earlier this year by the Constitutional Court and sentenced to 15-month imprisonment for refusing to obey court orders to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
After serving less than two months in jail, Fraser overruled the Medical Parole Advisory Board’s decision not to release Zuma from jail, resulting in urgent review applications being lodged by Democratic Alliance (DA), the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF), and AfriForum, who eventually won their case last Wednesday.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS), like Zuma, is also appealing Judge Matojane’s ruling.
The department believes that Fraser was legally justified in overriding the Medical Parole Advisory Board’s recommendation that Zuma did not qualify to be released on medical grounds.
“Having carefully studied the judgment, DCS is convinced that another court may arrive at a different conclusion.
“DCS is of the view that the court sadly misinterpreted the Correctional Services Act and erred in declaring the decision of the national commissioner to place Zuma of medical parole to be unlawful and setting it aside,” said the DCS in a statement last week.