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South African court sends Zuma back to jail, says probation illegal | Jacob Zuma News

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Zuma was sentenced to 15 months for ignoring a court order to testify in a corruption investigation during his tenure.

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that the decision to release former President Jacob Zuma on early medical parole was “unlawful” and that he must return to prison to finish his sentence for contempt of court.

Zuma was sentenced last year to 15 months in prison after ignoring a court order to testify in a government inquiry into widespread corruption during his nearly decade as president, a term that ended in 2018 when incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him.

In September 2021, Zuma was released on medical parole after serving a fraction of the sentence. But in December, the high court overturned the probation decision and ordered him back to jail.

Zuma appealed that ruling, and the sentence was handed down Monday, a month after the department of correctional services said his prison sentence had ended.

“In other words, Mr. Zuma, by law, has not finished serving his sentence. He must return to the Escourt correctional center to do so, ”said the Supreme Court of Appeals ruling.

The court took issue with the department’s assertion that Zuma’s sentence had ended while the appeal was still being heard.

It also found that the former national correctional services commissioner’s decision to grant Zuma medical parole against the advice of the specialized Medical Parole Advisory Board was illegal.

“On every conceivable basis, the commissioner’s decision was illegal and unconstitutional. The higher court did the right thing by setting it aside,” the ruling said.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the department of correctional services said it was looking into the ruling and would likely respond at a later date.

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