Cape Town – United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader General Bantu Holomisa has reportedly said that President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola should answer the question regarding how former president Jacob Zuma was released on medical parole.
Holomisa’s remarks came after the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday ordered Zuma to return to prison, invalidating the medical parole he was granted in September.
The decision to place Zuma on medical parole is “declared unlawful and set aside”, read the ruling by High Court Judge Elias Matojane.
Zuma, 79, was jailed in July for 15 months for contempt of court, after he refused to give testimony to corruption investigators.
His jailing sparked violent protests and looting in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal that spread to the financial hub Johannesburg in July, claiming over 350 lives.
Zuma was granted medical parole on September 5, but the exact reasons were never revealed. While in prison, he was taken to hospital for surgery to treat an undisclosed ailment.
Holomisa said that the people who should be made to answer for Zuma’s initial release on medical parole should be Ramaphosa, Lamola and the then National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser.
“Zuma didn’t go out of jail on his own, so the processes of the government of the ANC and the ANC are coming back to bite them. Let them swim in their stew, because it’s either they have instructed Fraser to release JZ and made him the fall guy because they had political pressure.
“They should just leave JZ to enjoy Christmas with his children and everything, so Dali Mpofu can launch an appeal and that’s fine. The people who owe an explanation are the president, minister or the entire cabinet if the memo was sent to the cabinet for approval,” IOL quoted Holomisa as saying.
Holomisa said no junior officer could have released Zuma “without a political directive from above”.
Meanwhile, according to EWN, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it was encouraged by the court’s firm stance on Zuma’s medical parole.
In addition to the investigation by a special anti-corruption panel, Zuma is also enmeshed in a drawn-out corruption trial relating to a 1999 purchase of arms from five European firms.
Deputy president at the time, Zuma is accused of pocketing bribes from French defence giant Thales and faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering.
Picture: Getty Images
Additional reporting by AFP