Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
6 Sep 2021
6:38 pm

Ramaphosa welcomes Zuma’s release from jail while talking tough against crime

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Delivering the closing address at the virtual NEC Lekgotla on Monday, the President wished the former president well.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the decision to release former president Jacob Zuma, after the department of correctional services (DCS) on Sunday confirmed that Zuma had been placed on medical parole.

Delivering the closing address at the virtual NEC Lekgotla on Monday, the President wished the former president well.

“The decision by correctional services national commissioner to release comrade Jacob Zuma from incarceration on medical parole, we welcome this,” he said.

“We have heard that he is not well and we wish to wish him quick recovery, as he’s restored back to his home to be with his loved ones.”

In a statement released on Sunday the department said: “Section 75(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, affords the National Commissioner a responsibility to place under correctional supervision or day parole, or grant parole or medical parole to a sentenced offender serving a sentence of incarceration for 24 months or less.”

“Medical parole’s eligibility for Mr Zuma is impelled by a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services. Medical parole placement for Mr Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, whereby he must comply with specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires.”

Policing and security concerns

The President empasised the need for additional security measures in light of the high crime rate in the country and the recent unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following the arrest of Zuma.

He said the party had committed to put in place additional measures to strengthen security and the capacity of law-enforcement agencies.

“All of us, indeed all of society, agree with the assertion at this lekgotla by the SACP and Cosatu that society is tired of crime and corruption, and the seeming inability of the state to decisively deal with this scourge. Efforts to strengthen the capacity of law-enforcement agencies and security services continue. Citizens need to be confident that both the police service and state intelligence agencies have the necessary capacity and resources to protect the country,” said Ramaphosa.

“Structures of the movement and other civil society formations played a critical role in supporting the efforts of law enforcement agencies in responding to the violence and destruction in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng during the attempted insurrection in July.

“Communities were at the forefront in preventing the spread of violence to the rest of the country. This points to the need for consistent public activism against crime and corruption.It is our responsibility to ensure there are wall-to-wall functioning Community-Policing Forums in the country.”

While the NPA has made progress in bringing those allegedly responsible for organising, coordinating, and inciting the violence to court, the President said the ANC’s priority was to ensure it never happens again.

“We therefore support the work of the panel of experts appointed by the President to review the preparedness and response of our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies. What matters in security is not what you accomplish ‘after the fact’ but what you can prevent.”

IEC reopens candidate registration

The President further welcomed the decision by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to reopen its candidate registration process for the 2021 local government elections later this month.

IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini announced on Monday at a media briefing in Centurion, Pretoria, that the candidate registration process will reopen on 20 September after the voter registration weekend.

“We welcome the decision of the IEC to declare the weekend of the 18th and 19th of September as registration weekend. And we agree with the IEC that the inextricable link between voter registration and the right to stand for public office,” said Ramaphosa.

“The ANC further welcomes the decision to reopen candidate registration on 20th and 21 September. We believe this is in line with constitutional and legislative prescripts.”