The EFF has criticised the Pretoria high court decision to have Jacob Zuma sent back to prison, claiming it is “political revenge” and “malicious use of the law”.
This week the high court ordered the former president back to jail to serve out the remainder of his 15-month sentence for contempt of court.
It called the decision to release him on medical parole in September “unlawful”.
Weighing in on the latest development, EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo told SABC News there was a “clear mandate to punish as opposed to correct”.
“Arresting Zuma is nothing but political revenge. If the law must serve the purpose of rehabilitation or bringing order to society, what is the purpose of arresting Zuma again?
“Why is Zuma a threat to society, or what need is there to rehabilitate him? It’s malicious use of the law. The point is that he must be corrected and in this case, it looks like there is a clear mandate to punish as opposed to correct,” said Pambo.
In June Zuma was found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced for failing to appear before the state capture inquiry.
He was released on medical parole by former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser two months into his jail term. Fraser later admitted he did so against the recommendation of the medical parole advisory board.
The high court said there is no evidence Zuma was terminally ill or severely incapacitated.
It slammed Fraser for granting Zuma medical parole, calling the decision “irrational” and said it was based on irrelevant considerations.
“The decision of the first respondent (Arthur Fraser) to place the third respondent on medical parole, taken on September 5 2021, is reviewed, declared unlawful and set aside,” read the judgment.
“It is hereby directed the third respondent be returned to the custody of the department of correctional services to serve out the remainder of his sentence”
TimesLIVE reported that Zuma’s lawyers applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) against the judgment.
In the application, his lawyers said the judge erred in finding the DA, Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum had the requisite standing to bring its application
Zuma’s lawyers said the judge committed gross misdirection in not taking into account the overwhelming evidence that no correctional facility in SA was capable of accommodating the undisputed medical needs of Zuma, who is entitled to 24-hour medical care from the state.