Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be on high alert following the ruling of the High Court in Pretoria that former President Jacob Zuma should go back to prison. That’s according to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
The High Court also ruled that Zuma’s release from prison last month on medical parole was unlawful.
Lamola was among security cluster ministers that told the media in Pretoria that incidents that are similar to the July unrest would be averted.
Zuma’s jailing in July led to the vandalism and looting of businesses in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
More than 300 people were killed in the unrest.
Lamola has called for calm adding that members of the public should refrain from making inflammatory statements that could incite violence.
“We call for calm and refrain from all South Africans after the court judgment with regards to the former President it is important that we allow the due processes of the law to take its course. The parties themselves are in engaging on the matter in the court processes, so inflammatory statements and unwarranted attack on the judiciary will not help the process.”
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The Jacob Zuma Foundation and the Correctional Services Department have already vowed to seek leave to appeal the decision of the court which nullifies the department’s former commissioner Arthur Fraser’s decision to grant Zuma medical parole.
Correctional Services Spokesperson Sengabakho Nxumalo says after having carefully studied the judgment, they are convinced that another court may arrive at a different conclusion.
“The DSC is of the view that the court sadly misinterpreted the Correctional Services Act and erred in declaring the decision of the National Commissioner to place Zuma on Medical Parole to be unlawful and setting it aside. He says they will outline the grounds of their appeal in the papers that they will be filing in court in due course.”
Correctional Services to appeal the decision on Zuma’s medical parole:
Meanwhile, Zuma’s legal team has already filed its application for leave to appeal the judgment.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi says, “Indeed the legal team of his excellency, President Zuma, has just delivered its application for leave to appeal in terms of Section 17 of the Superior Courts Act on the grounds that the judgment is clearly wrong and there are strong prospects that a higher court will come to a totally different conclusion.”
There has been a range of mixed reactions to yesterday’s ruling about the former president.
Former Spokesperson of uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, Carl Niehaus, who is suspended from the ANC, believes Zuma should not have been arrested in the first place.
Niehaus says the decision for Zuma to go back to jail is “an outrageous judgment, a judgment that just reflects once again that our legal system and our courts are captured.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says that former President Jacob Zuma’s returning to jail will serve no purpose, labelling the judgment of the High Court in Pretoria as political revenge.
On the other hand, lobby group AfriForum says former Zuma must abide by the order the court.
Afriforum, which was an applicant in the case, has welcomed the ruling.
Head of Policy and Action, Ernst Roets says, ‘The public has been concerned for quite some time, for there are obvious double standards in the SA legal system and that senior politicians or people with political connections are not treated the same way as the rest of the public. This is why Afriforum got involved in this matter as an applicant and also why we regard this as a major breakthrough for justice in this country.”
Mixed reactions to Zuma being ordered to return to jail: