I have today applied to the Gauteng High Court to review and set aside Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser’s decision to place Former President Jacob Zuma on medical parole.
I believe the decision is unlawful for at least two reasons.
First, it was taken against the recommendation of the Medical Parole Advisory Board not to grant medical parole to Mr. Zuma.
Second, it was taken for an ulterior purpose not permitted by section 79 of the Correctional Services Act and Regulations (which govern the granting of medical parole), and not rationally connected to the purpose of medical parole or the information before the Commissioner.
Mr. Zuma was imprisoned for contempt of court so serious that it constituted a near-existential threat to the authority of the judicial system. In the words of the Court:
“Indeed, if we do not intervene immediately to send a clear message to the public that this conduct stands to be rebuked in the strongest of terms, there is a real and imminent risk that a mockery will be made of this Court and the judicial process in the eyes of the public. The vigour with which Mr. Zuma is peddling his disdain of this Court and the judicial process carries the further risk that he will inspire or incite others to similarly defy this Court, the judicial process and the rule of law.”
Fraser’s parole decision harms the court in exactly the same way that Mr. Zuma’s contempt of court did. It again makes a mockery of the judicial process, sending the message to every South African that, as long as you are powerful and politically connected, you need not fear punishment for breaking the law. If you are sent to prison for your crimes, you will be let out well before the end of your sentence on “medical parole”.
It is a terrible indictment on President Ramaphosa that he not only failed to speak out against this egregious decision, but that he openly welcomed it.
Worse still, he facilitated it by deploying the deeply compromised Arthur Fraser to the position of Commissioner of Correctional Services in the first place.
President Ramaphosa transferred Arthur Fraser from his position as Director-General of the State Security Agency to the post of National Commissioner of Correctional Services in 2018, knowing full well the many crimes Fraser stood accused of, including the parallel intelligence network he set up to serve Mr. Zuma’s personal interests.
The ulterior purpose of placing Mr. Zuma on medical parole is, of course, a desperate attempt to placate the Zuma faction of the ANC ahead of the election.
Ramaphosa continues to put the interests of the ANC ahead of the interests of South Africa, even if it risks destroying the rule of law, the very foundation of our democracy.
The Democratic Alliance will use every means at our disposal to protect the Constitution and the rule of law from destruction by the ANC. And we will use every means at our disposal to fight the ANC’s policy of cadre deployment, which enabled this abuse of power.
Since 1998, we have warned South Africa that cadre deployment will destroy South Africa. Back then, we were derided as alarmist. Now, the evidence lies all around us.
Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.