The Constitutional Court rejected the application for leave to appeal former President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole, saying the appeal had “no reasonable prospect of success”.
This means that the November ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) stands. The Securities and Commodities Authority court said in this ruling: Mr Zuma, in law, has not finished serving his sentence. He has to go back to Estcourt Correctional Center to do that.”
But the SCA’s decision said how long he had been there was not a matter for the courts to decide. This was a “matter for consideration by the Commissioner” of Corrective Services.
If authorized by law to do so, the delegate may do so [the period already spent on medical parole] SCA judge Tati Makguka said.
The Constitutional Court sentenced the former president to 15 months in prison for contempt after he disobeyed its order to comply with a subpoena of the state’s seizure commission.
After serving less than two months, he was granted medical parole by Arthur Fraser, the former National Commissioner for Corrective Services – despite not being recommended by the Medical Parole Board. The decision was immediately challenged in the Supreme Court by the DA, the Helen Suzman Foundation, and AfriForum. Their application was successful in the Supreme Court and was partially upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court order had declared that Zuma’s time on medical parole should not be counted as part of his sentence.
But the Court of Appeal said, “Matters related to how the inmate carried out his sentence [and] When and how he qualifies for or will be released on parole, resides substantially in the county of the executive—the department, in this case.”
The Constitutional Court order passed Thursday without a hearing and was issued by a board of 10 judges: Vice-President Mandisa Maia, Justices Judy Kolabin, Mboisele Madlanga, Stephane Magdet, Ramaka Matobo, Nunkosi Mhlantla, Owen Rogers, Leona Theron and Zukiza. Czech and acting judge David Van Zyl.