Cape Town – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed reports that he was aware of the national commissioner of correctional services Arthur Fraser’s decision to place former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole.
According to EWN, Ramaphosa said he was informed about the decision to grant medical parole to Zuma once it had been taken by Fraser.
“Arthur Fraser is the commissioner of prisons, and he took the decision, as he did, after receiving the report then took the decision and I got to hear once the decision was made,” the report quoted Ramaphosa as saying.
Ramaphosa was speaking from the election campaign trail in Soweto on Saturday.
Reports earlier this week indicated that Ramaphosa was aware of Fraser’s move to place Zuma on medical parole.
According to City Press, Ramaphosa allegedly gave Fraser “the green light” to authorise the release of Zuma from prison.
The report quoted sources as saying that “the prison boss consulted the president before deciding to release Zuma based on three months assessments”.
Zuma has been hospitalised since August 6 at a health facility outside the prison where he had been incarcerated for 15 months for ignoring a court order to testify before a judicial panel probing corruption during his nine-year tenure which lasted until 2018.
He was granted medical parole by the department of correctional services early this month. He will complete the rest of his sentence in a “system of community corrections”.
Fraser’s decision was being challenged in court.
Fraser said that after assessments, the medical parole advisory board “did not approve medical parole” because Zuma was “in a stable condition”.
He, however, stood by his decision to overrule this and release the former president because the correctional services department realised that they had a person in their custody who was “frail and required specialised treatment”.
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Betha Madhomu