AfriForum becomes third organisation to challenge Zuma parole decision

Former president Jacob Zuma was granted medical parole. File photo.
Former president Jacob Zuma was granted medical parole. File photo.

AfriForum became the third organisation to launch an urgent court application seeking to set aside the decision by correctional services head Arthur Fraser to release former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole.

Its application before the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday follows similar ones launched by the DA last Friday and the Helen Suzman Foundation on Tuesday.

AfriForum said its application related to the recent release of Zuma on medical parole though it appeared that statutory provisions were not complied with.

Last week, AfriForum wrote an urgent lawyer's letter to Fraser seeking answers regarding Zuma's release. The letter asked, among other things, whether Zuma was suffering from a terminal illness that justified his medical parole, and that details about Zuma's condition should be made public, as well as copies of the application for medical parole and the medical report in which the recommendation was made.

AfriForum said Fraser did not respond to the letter.

In a statement on Wednesday, AfriForum's head of policy and action Ernst Roets said it was a shame that people are treated favourably on the basis of their political prestige.

“We regard this application as urgent because there is a clear case of abuse of power by the government on the basis of a person's political position.”

Fraser admitted in an interview with the SABC last week that he took the decision to grant Zuma parole. In the interview, Fraser also admitted the medical parole advisory board, which is the expert medical body established under the Correctional Services Act, did not approve medical parole because it indicated Zuma was in a stable condition.

In his affidavit before the court, Roets said in terms of the act and regulations, Fraser is precluded from granting medical parole if the board recommends that an inmate not be granted medical parole.