Pressure mounts on Fraser to explain reasons behind granting Zuma parole

Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser admitted that he approved Zuma's medical parole, while the medical parole advisory board advised against it.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Calls are mounting for Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser to release his reasons for overturning the medical parole board's recommendation not to release Jacob Zuma on medical parole.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for failing to appear before the state capture commission but in a surprise move last week, the former president was granted medical parole.

Fraser admitted that he approved Zuma's medical parole, while the medical parole advisory board advised against it.

In an interview with the SABC on Wednesday night, Fraser said his decision was "legal and procedural" and believed it would stand any scrutiny.

READ:

- Arthur Fraser asked to explain why Zuma was granted medical parole

- Accountability Now says Fraser should have recused himself from Zuma's parole

- ANC's Ramaphosa wishes Zuma a speedy recovery after release on medical parole

He said he had the power to make the final decision and well in his power to make a different decision as to what the board recommends.

Fraser said he knew there was a perception that he was a so-called Zuma man who would do anything for the former president but claims this is not true.

"Recommendations were made to the medical parole board's advisory board. The board did not approve for medical parole because they indicated that he was in a stable condition. When the medical advisory board provided those recommendations, I as the head of the centre who has the authority to decide, reviewed the information available and the conditions based on all the reports that we have require us to release the former president."

Criminal law expert Ulrich Roux believes there was a legal argument to be made for the decision to be overturned.

“He's going to have to disclose all of the information that he based his decision on, then it could very well lead to an application being made to the parole review board to overturn that decision. And if that board says that it cannot overturn a commissioner’s decision, which in fact it can, any person or any party who wants to bring an application to have the decision overturned by court can,” Roux said.

The Watchdog | In conversation with Arthur Fraser: 08 September 2021

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.