Former South African President, Jacob Zuma has been granted parole by the national commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser, on medical grounds. The Department issued a statement on Sunday afternoon that it is in possession of medical reports which indicate that Mr Zuma is entitled to be released on medical parole and that he will complete the remainder of his 15 months jail sentence in a home environment. Zuma was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by the constitutional court following his refusal to appear before the commission of inquiry into state capture, better known as the Zondo Commission, after having been ordered to do so by the same court.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation has since confirmed the news and said that they will release a full statement after meeting with Zuma’s legal team.
Opposition parties are sceptical about this developments with the Democratic Alliance saying that the release is unlawful and that they will need to have access to the records placed before the parole board which qualified Mr Zuma for early release.
Dennis Bloem of the Congress of the People also expressed his concern saying that it is obvious that Mr Zuma’s friends are doing favours for him and that there are many people who are more entitled to medical parole than Mr Zuma, but who have been denied that right and some of them have even died in prison.
Mr Zuma will be given conditions for his release including that he must not commit further offences while he is out on parole. Zuma has only served two months of his 15 months sentence. While in prison, s large part of his home province of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng went up in flames as his supporters demanded that he be released and resorted to looting businesses to make their point. Government’s response was very slow as a result which many businesses suffered extensive damages. Initial police deployments were overwhelmed by the rioters.