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Zuma parole hearing: Lawyers ask court to uphold ruling

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Advocate Dali Mpofu on Monday told the Supreme Court of Appeal that former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser took his decision to grant parole within the law.

Former President Jacob Zuma responding with laughter to a debate in Parliament. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN – The lawyers representing former president Jacob Zuma said the medical advisory board’s recommendation that he did not qualify for medical parole has been misrepresented.

Advocate Dali Mpofu on Monday told the Supreme Court of Appeal that former correctional services commissioner Arthur Fraser took his decision to grant parole within the law.

Zuma is back before court to appeal an earlier judgment that found his parole unlawful. Both lawyers representing Fraser and Zuma have requested that their appeal be upheld by the court.

Mpofu, representing Zuma, told the appeals court that the “human rights of the inmate” have not been considered, arguing that the former president’s condition was indeed chronic.

Advocate Sy Mphahlele, representing Fraser, has told the court that two reports recommended Zuma’s release.

He said both reports were served before the former correctional service commissioner, and he used his own discretion when granting Zuma parole on medical grounds.

TWO MEDICAL EXPERTS ARGUED FOR PAROLE – MPOFU

Zuma’s lawyers have questioned how the medical parole advisory board could ignore a medical report approving his parole, while former prisons boss Arthur Fraser accepted it.

Mpofu told the Supreme Court of Appeal that the medical parole advisory board, which denied Zuma parole, merely made a recommendation and it could not be “elevated to a binding decision”.

The advocate argued that two experts found that Zuma’s condition was reason enough for him to be granted parole on medical grounds.

The medical advisory board had found that there were no grounds to grant Zuma parole. But Mpofu said Zuma’s military doctor, as well as one member of the medical parole advisory board, found that Zuma suffered from a terminal illness.

He said the advisory board’s recommendation can’t be elevated to a binding decision, and Fraser was well within his right to grant parole.

Mpofu said the advisory’s recommendation and the “decision maker” or Fraser, should be looked at separately.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and other organisations are also expected to make submissions to oppose Zuma’s appeal.

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