South Africa -South African High Court in Pretoria ordered former president Jacob Zuma to return back to prison after setting aside the earlier decision to release him on medical parole. The court announced the ruling on Wednesday and said the former president’s medical parole was unlawful.
Jacob Zuma began his prison sentence in July. He was serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court. However, the court earlier allowed him to be released on medical parole in September. Now, the court said that the time he has spent out of prison cannot be counted in his 15-month sentence. The opposition party, the Democratic Alliance welcomed the ruling.
Jacob Zuma’s jail sentence
Jacob Zuma was ordered the jail sentence after he ignored instructions to participate in a corruption inquiry during his presidency. The court earlier ordered an investigation into corruption cases during his time as president from 2009 to 2018. The former president is also facing a separate corruption case and fraud trial related to an arms deal in 1999. He was accused of receiving bribes from French arms company Thales through his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik. However, he denied such claims and said he was the victim of a political conspiracy.
Prison authorities said Jacob Zuma’s release on parole was allowed by a medical report, however, his ailment was never disclosed. Earlier, Zuma’s lawyer argued that the imprisonment had a negative impact on Zuma. His health started deteriorating after he was sent to jail.
Protest erupted in July
In July, when he was sent to jail, violent protests started and more than 300 people died. Most of the people were from KwaZulu-Natal province. Reportedly, in the protest, about 800 people were involved, in which one police officer was shot in Alexandra. Major highways and rail routes were shut down during the protest.