The civil rights organisation AfriForum is in the process of compiling an urgent court application against the Department of Correctional Services as well as the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser.
This application follows the recent release of former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole despite the fact that the applicable statutory prescriptions do not appear to have been complied with. AfriForum last week sent an urgent lawyer’s letter to Fraser in his capacity as National Commissioner of Correctional Services wherein the organisation requested answers about Zuma’s release.
The letter asked, among other things, whether Zuma was suffering from a terminal illness that justified his medical parole, that details of Zuma’s condition should be disclosed as well as copies of the application for medical parole and the medical report where the recommendation was made.
Although Fraser read the letter, he did not respond. Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum, says that this is a matter of national importance and that it is a shame if people are treated favourably on the basis of their political prestige.
“If it is true that the former president is terminally ill or in any other way complies with the provisions of the law, then there is no problem with his medical parole. However, everything the Department of Correctional Services has done and said in the past week indicates that there was political interference here that did not comply with the provisions of the law. The allegations that Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa was involved in the decision to release Zuma sends a clear message that the president is not serious about tackling and stopping corruption and crime in the government as well as the ruling party,” Roets concluded.