Monday, 06 September 2021

Pretoria: The Department of Correctional Services has announced that former President Jacob Zuma has been placed on medical parole.

In a statement, the department said a medical report on the former President spurred on the decision to allow him medical parole.

“Medical parole’s eligibility for [the former President] is impelled by a medical report received by the Department of Correctional Services. Apart from being terminally ill and physically incapacitated, inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care can also be considered for medical parole,” said the department in a statement on Sunday.

Former President Zuma was serving a second month behind bars after the Constitutional Court sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment for contempt of court.

The department says he will now be under community corrections.

“Medical parole placement for [the former President] means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, whereby he must comply with [a] specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires,” the statement said.

The department explained that decisions to grant medical parole are made through a legal framework.

“Section 75(7)(a) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998 affords the National Commissioner a responsibility to place under correctional supervision or day parole, or grant parole or medical parole to a sentenced offender serving a sentence of incarceration for 24 months or less. The National Commissioner is also in terms of Section 52, empowered to prescribe conditions of parole.

“The risk of re-offending of released inmates must also be low and there must be appropriate arrangements for the inmate’s supervision, care and treatment within the community to which the inmate is to be released to. Medical parole can only be revoked if an offender does not comply with the placement conditions,” the statement read.

The department said all offenders can be placed medical parole if they meet the criteria.

“We want to reiterate that placement on medical parole is an option available to all sentenced offenders provided they meet all the requirements. We appeal to all South Africans to afford [former President] Zuma dignity as he continues to receive medical treatment.” it said.