Suzman Foundation gives Lamola, Fraser deadline to explain Zuma parole

In a lawyers’ letter fired off this week, the foundation has given both Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola and Commissioner Arthur Fraser. until 5 pm on Monday to explain the decision to grant Jacob Zuma medical parole.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma addresses his supporters following the postponement of his corruption trial outside the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Helen Suzman Foundation has joined a chorus of disapproval against former President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole and demands answers from Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola and Commissioner Arthur Fraser.

In a lawyers’ letter fired off this week, the foundation has given both Lamola and Fraser until 5 pm on Monday to explain the decision.

READ: Pressure mounts on Fraser to explain reasons behind granting Zuma parole

Zuma was initially sentenced to 15 months in prison, which he began serving in July, for refusing to return to the state capture commission and ignoring a Constitutional Court order compelling him to.

Two months later, he’s in hospital with a medical condition that has not been disclosed, but has played a part in him being granted parole.

ALSO READ: JZ Foundation: Public ill-informed about medical parole

While Fraser has confidently said he acted within his mandate to grant Zuma medical parole, the Helen Suzman Foundation said this was unlawful.

Fraser also admitted this week, in an interview with the SABC, that the medical parole advisory board had in fact advised against the parole after examining Zuma. That’s after determining that he was in a stable condition.

The foundation’s legal counsel Anton van Dalsen said: “Our impression is that generally, the commissioner is not permitted to overrule the opinion of the board that is constituted for matters of medical parole, but we're obviously waiting for the records of the decisions.”

Political parties including the UDM, the Freedom Front Plus and the DA have also questioned the decision and believe the former president was favoured. But his foundation has dismissed these claim.

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