Blood may be shed again if the pushback against former President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole is successful in court, says an expert.
This as the Democratic Alliance (DA) has divulged plans to file papers in the North Gauteng High Court tomorrow, applying for a Protection of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to force Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser to reveal exactly how he came to a decision to release the former statesman on medical parole.
“The party will hopefully be filing papers in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria tomorrow,” says DA spokesperson Charity McCord.
“We will release a statement as soon as the papers are filed tomorrow.”
Fraser revealed that he overrode the view of the parole board which reviewed Zuma’s medical report and found his medical condition to be stable during an interview with the SABC on Wednesday.
Fraser acknowledges during the interview that some people see him as a Zuma loyalist, but insists his decision was fully legal and soundly considered.
Both the DA and AfriForum have announced intention to have Zuma’s parole overturned in court, a move which political analyst Professor sethulego Matebesi warns may lead to a reignition of the same movement which led to the July unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal which led to over 300 deaths.
Fraser’s decision and the view among his supporters that the former president is being persecuted through the courts may spark anger should Zuma find himself back behind bars. At the same time, there is pressure for the justice system not to be seen as treating Zuma any differently than an ordinary citizen in his position.
Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority Mthunzi Mhaga says the state will not speak on Zuma’s parole, neither will it pronounce on whether it will respond to the decision by the department of correctional services (DCS).
He said the Zuma case had been postponed to the 20th and 21st of this month to enable the state-appointed team of medical specialists to consider the medical evidence in co-operation with Zuma’s medical team.
The Citizen has reported that according to legal experts, the NPA has ample ammunition and the legal recourse to have Fraser’s decision reviewed.
Mhaga says the NPA will not speak on the matter until Zuma’s corruption trial is back in court later this month.
Ramaphosa’s welcoming of the DCS decision on Zuma’s medical parole also speaks volumes about the pressure the ANC faces to forge a united front ahead of the local government elections.
“The ANC had no choice but to forge a united front in welcoming the Zuma’s medical parole, to avoid pushback from the rogue Zuma zealots who ostensibly instigated the July riots,” says Matebesi.
” The damage is already done; the mere fact that Zuma has spent time in prison sends a clear message that no-one is above the law. But you can’t then go and say as the ANC has done, that he is an old man and so on. There must be consequences, because we still have rampant corruption that we are dealing with as a nation and we need to send a message that those implicated will not be treated with kid gloves,” he concludes.