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SCA ruling ‘an exercise in cruelty and degrading punishment’ – Jacob Zuma Foundation

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has painted the former president as a victim of injustice, saying the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) decision to dismiss his medical parole appeal is targeting him as an individual.

Medical parole

The SCA in Bloemfontein on Monday dismissed with costs Zuma’s appeal against the setting aside of his medical parole by the Pretoria High Court.

Zuma and the department of correctional services had appealed the high court’s ruling, which set aside the decision by former Correctional Services national commissioner, Arthur Fraser, to grant him medical parole.

He was handed a 15-month jail sentence by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) for contempt after he refused to testify at the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

After spending two months at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, Fraser released Zuma on medical grounds, despite the Medical Parole Advisory Board’s recommendation not to release Zuma from jail.

Go directly to jail

The Jacob Zuma Foundation said while the SCA fell short of granting an order for the reimprisonment of Zuma, it “hinted” that this may be one of the options available.

“This despite the fact that the official expiry date of his sentence, which was fully served, passed on 7 October 2022, almost 2 months ago. This is an act of injustice. It is nothing but an exercise in cruelty and degrading punishment.”

“For the second time in so many years, the courts have convicted President Zuma and sentenced him to imprisonment without the benefit of a criminal trial which is afforded to even the worst criminals,” the foundation said.

ALSO READ: Back to jail for Zuma? SCA dismisses medical parole appeal

Judicial overreach

The Foundation said the judgment agaisnt Jacob Zuma is a “textbook case of judicial overreach”.

“To be categorically clear, President Zuma holds no particularly strong views whether the applying doctor or the granting official acted lawfully or exceeded their powers. To impose further imprisonment after the expiry of a jail term is totally unheard of and it is indeed a textbook case of judicial overreach once again targeted at President Zuma as an individual.

“One does not need to be a lawyer to understand the double jeopardy rule of law: a person cannot be punished twice for the same offence,” it said.

Zuma requests legal options

The foundation said Zuma has consulted his legal team to study the judgment.

“If all are indeed equal before the law, then it must be equally unacceptable even if that citizen happens to carry the name Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.

“That is the essence of the equality clause in our Constitution. In view of this total injustice and outrage, President Zuma has instructed his legal team to craft an opinion to advise him of his legal options within the next few weeks,” it said.

The foundation said “there is no new crisis” concerning Jacob Zuma.

 “We should all leave the matter in the hands of the law and our democratic institutions. In this sea of uncertainty only one thing is certain: Our country is in deep and serious trouble. But as President Nelson Mandela once said: ‘It is now in our hands’,” it said.

Additional reporting by  Thapelo Lekabe

ALSO READ: ConCourt must ‘take responsibility’ for ‘consequences’ of Janusz Waluś’ release, says EFF

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/sca-cruelty-degrading-punishment-jacob-zuma-foundation/

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