FF+, Afriforum slam Jacob Zuma’s release on medical parole
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Cape Town - The Freedom Front Plus and civil rights organisation Afriforum have added their voices to the outrage over the announcement of the release on medical parole of former president Jacob Zuma.
On Sunday, the Department of Correctional Services announced that Zuma, who is serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court, would be released on medical parole as a result of his health condition.
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said on Monday it was clear that Zuma has been receiving “preferential treatment” since he entered the gates of the Estcourt Correctional Services Centre.
Groenewald said the fact that Zuma served most of his prison sentence in the hospital wing of the correctional centre proved that he was receiving preferential treatment and it came as no surprise that he had now been granted medical parole.
“The FF Plus warned against a rehash of the Schabir Shaik case, where hospitalisation and an alleged serious disease served as an easy way to avoid serving his prison sentence.
“It is abundantly clear that what transpired with Zuma is indeed a rehash of the Shaik-method to avoid punishment,” Groenewald said.
He also said the custom of special treatment for some was undermining the country's criminal justice system.
“The commissioner of Correctional Services' powers and functions must be reviewed seeing as he seems to wield the authority to decide who may be released on parole, as is evident in the Zuma case.
“The FF Plus wants to see that an independent medical assessment is done to confirm Zuma's alleged medical condition,” Groenewald said.
AfriForum’s Ernst Roets said the announcement that Zuma would be released on medical parole was a violation of justice that could not be accepted.
“The civil rights organisation is currently in consultation with its legal team about the possibility to apply for an urgent review application,” Roets said.