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Montevideo, February 7th 2023 - 08:39 UTC

 

 

Former South African President ordered back to jailhouse

Tuesday, November 22nd 2022 - 21:41 UTC
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Zuma may still file an appeal before the Constitutional Court Zuma may still file an appeal before the Constitutional Court

Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been ordered back to jail after the Supreme Court overturned his medical parole earlier this week. Zuma had been sentenced to 15 months in jail for refusing to testify in a government inquiry into a corruption case.

The Supreme Court said his early release had been “unlawful” and he should therefore return to a correctional facility to serve out his term for contempt of court.

When his jail term was announced, violence erupted, leaving 350 people dead. The Supreme Court's decision is not final. Zuma may still bring his case before the Constitutional Court. He also faces separate corruption charges over an arms deal dating back over two decades.

The former leader, who left office in 2018, was released on medical parole in September 2021 after serving only two months. But that decision was repealed in December. Zuma appealed that ruling and judgment was passed Monday. As per that ruling, Zuma “must return to the Escourt Correctional” facility.

The Supreme Court also found the decision by South Africa's prison service to grant the 80-year-old Zuma medical parole against the advice of the Medical Parole Advisory Board, was “unlawful.”

According to a medical assessment cited in the appeal court's decision, Zuma has high blood pressure, elevated levels of blood sugar, and lesions of the colon.

Zuma, a prominent figure in the fight against apartheid, became president in 2009 and was forced to step down in disgrace by the African National Congress (ANC) in 2018 following mounting corruption allegations.

However, he remains a key figure among members of the ruling ANC, who regard him as a defender of the poor and oppressed. In the past few months, Zuma has made several public appearances, singing and dancing before his supporters. He also lashed out at his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, accusing him of graft and treason.

Ramaphosa faces a crucial ANC conference next month, seeking re-election at a time when he is under pressure over allegations that he concealed a multi-million-dollar cash heist at his luxury farmhouse.

Categories: Politics, International.

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