Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU

The Constitutional Court will on Friday hand down a landmark judgment in former president Jacob Zuma’s application to have his 15-month jail term rescinded. 

Zuma served only two months of his jail term before being granted medical parole earlier in September. His attempt is facing a challenge by the DA, the Helen Suzman Foundation and AfriForum after it was revealed that correctional services national commissioner Arthur Fraser overruled the medical parole board that denied Zuma’s release. 

The Jacob Zuma Foundation, which has maintained that a slew of laws were violated when the Constitutional Court handed down its judgment in July, hopes “that at 10am today, justice will prevail and that the supremacy of the constitution will be reaffirmed”.

The foundation has refused to say whether the former president was released to serve the remainder of his sentence outside correctional services for “security reasons”.

Zuma’s arrest set in motion a week of looting, violence and destruction of key infrastructure in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The riots dealt a blow to the country’s Covid-19-battered economy by wiping about R50bn off the GDP. 

The unrest prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to proceed with a long-awaited cabinet reshuffle, during which ministers in key positions were axed, including former defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who has since been elected as the National Assembly speaker.   

Zuma filed his application in July in a last-minute bid to reverse the top court’s judgment that found him guilty of contempt of court for failing to adhere to an order that he appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry. 

His legal counsel, advocate Dali Mpofu, argued that the jail sentence was an infringement on Zuma’s right to a fair trial.

maekot@businesslive.co.za

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