Former President Zuma Granted Leave To Appeal Imprisonment Ruling

News World

The High Court in South Africa has ruled that the former president be allowed to appeal a decision setting aside medical parole. Last week it was decided he should return to jail.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been granted leave to appeal last week’s court decision to return him to jail. It means Zuma will remain on medical parole and the matter can be heard at the country’s Supreme Court of Appeal.

High Court judge Elias Matojane said the former president’s ill health and age should be taken into consideration.

“In my view, this matter merits the Supreme Court of Appeal’s attention,” judge Matojane said.

Lawyers representing the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party, the Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum NGO opposed Zuma’s bid to appeal, and said it did not stand a reasonable chance of succeeding.

They argued that Zuma’s legal team did not have a sound or rational basis upon which the appeal should be heard.

Zuma’s lawyers argued that the parties opposing the application had “ulterior political motives.”

Last week the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that a prior decision on medical grounds was “unlawful.”

The story so far

Zuma was found guilty of contempt in June after refusing to obey a court order to appear before a commission probing corruption and fraud. The Zondo commission, named after the judge who heads it, is investigating “state capture” during Zuma’s tenure– allegations that Zuma allowed businessmen close to him to influence policy and win lucrative government contracts.

Zuma’s initial imprisonment in July sparked a series of violent protests and looting in which more than 350 people died. The country’s leadership deployed 25,000 troops to help calm the situation.

Zuma also faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering which relate to a 1999 purchase of arms from five European firms.

He was the deputy president at the time and is accused of pocketing bribes from French defense giant Thales.

The legal process has been delayed several times, with his lawyers arguing he was too sick to attend court.

Zuma has repeatedly claimed the justice system was hounding him for political motives.

(Reuters, AFP)

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