South African Court Orders Former President Zuma to Return to Jail

South Africa’s High Court ordered former President Jacob Zuma to return to jail after ruling that the medical parole he was granted in September was unlawful.

A judge from the High Court in Pretoria ordered on Wednesday that Zuma, 79, “be returned to the custody of the Department of Correctional Services” to serve the remainder of his prison sentence.

The court ruled that the decision of Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser to place Zuma in medical parole was unlawful, given that Fraser was not entitled to grant the release.

Zuma was serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court after he refused to cooperate in a corruption inquiry earlier this year, and was granted parole on medical grounds after two months in jail.

The court noted that Zuma’s time under parole will not be counted in his sentence. Judge Elias Matojane told the court that Zuma’s “unlawful” parole resulted in the former president “enjoying nearly three months of his sentence sitting at home in Nkandla, not serving his sentence in any meaningful sense”.

Zuma has been under legal procedures over alleged corruption during his tenure as president. His imprisonment in July had triggered the worst post-apartheid civil unrest in South Africa that left thousands of businesses pillaged and at least 354 people dead.

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