Former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has been granted medical parole after serving two months in custody. The ex-president was sentenced to 15-month jail term at the Estcourt Correctional Centre for being in contempt of court, following his refusal to appear before a graft panel.
Zuma who served between 2009 to 2018 was sentenced in June for refusing to provide evidence at the panel of inquiry investigating corruption during his presidency.
The charges against the ex-president ranged from fraud, racketeering, money laundering, corruption, and crimes relating to arms deals.
The National Department of Correctional Services (DCS) in a statement said Zuma’s parole was eligible in line with the “Section 75(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, affords the National Commissioner a responsibility to place under correctional supervision or day parole, or grant parole or medical parole to a sentenced offender serving a sentence of incarceration for 24 months or less.”
“The National Commissioner is also in terms of Section 52, empowered to prescribe conditions of parole,” the statement added.
“Medical parole’s eligibility for Mr Zuma is impelled by a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services. Apart from being terminally ill and physically incapacitated, inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care can also be considered for medical parole.
“The risk of re-offending of released inmates must also be low and there must be appropriate arrangements for the inmate’s supervision, care and treatment within the community to which the inmate is to be released to.
“Medical parole placement for Mr Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, whereby he must comply with specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires.
“Medical Parole can only be revoked if an offender does not comply with the placement conditions.”
However, the opposition party, the Democratic Alliance have criticised the medical parole, saying it is a mockery of the prison regulations.