JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Former South African President Jacob Zuma is returning to jail after the High Court in Pretoria ruled on Wednesday that his release on medical parole was unlawful.
The 79-year old was freed from prison on September 7, exactly two months after he started his 15-month jail term at Estcourt prison for contempt of court.
Zuma’s imprisonment angered his supporters leading to looting and arson that President Cyril Ramaphosa described as an “insurrection”.
He was granted medical parole following a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services and had been due to serve the remainder of his sentence under home supervision.
On Wednesday morning, however, the High Court ruled that former National Commissioner of Correctional Services Arthur Fraser’s decision to place Zuma on medical parole was unlawful – and ordered that he should return to jail.
“It is declared that the time [Zuma] was out of jail on medical parole should not be counted for the fulfilment of [Zuma’s] sentence of 15 months imposed by the Constitutional Court,” the court ruled.
Zuma and the national commissioner were ordered to pay the costs of the medical parole challenge brought by the opposition Democratic Alliance, the Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum.