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Request for ANC to intervene in Zuma court case referred to top six

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The ANC’s national executive committee has deferred the urgent request by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal to join the Jacob Zuma medical parole court case to the party’s top six.

Jacob Zuma at the Pietermaritzburg High Court during one of his appearances. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

THE ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has deferred the urgent request by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal to join the Jacob Zuma medical parole court case to the party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and his top six, which meets every Monday.

Ramaphosa and the top six, which includes David Mabuza, Paul Mashatile, Jessie Duarte and Gwede Mantashe, were asked to look at the request and make the final decision whether the governing party should join the fray or leave it to the Department of Correctional Services and Zuma to try to rescind the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, ruling.

The request from the KwaZulu-Natal wing of the governing party came following last week’s ruling of the high court, where it ruled that the September 5 medical parole granted to Zuma was null and void as former prison boss Arthur Fraser overstepped the mark.

Concerned that the ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the province, which in July, shortly after Zuma started serving his 15-month sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court, was beset by violence, looting of businesses and destruction of public infrastructure, the KwaZulu-Natal ANC asked the NEC to allow it to join the case as a friend of the court on Zuma’s side.

The NEC met on Friday and in a statement issued after the meeting said it had noted the judgment and the decision by the department to appeal the ruling.

“The NEC calls for the legal processes to be allowed to take their course, and will remain seized with the matter,” it added in a statement.

Asked about whether the KwaZulu-Natal ANC was able to get the green light from the NEC since the matter is returning to the high court for parties to ask for permission to approach the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein, the ANC provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, said the matter was now with the top six.

“The ANC asked the top six to look at the matter and see whether the requested intervention should be undertaken or not. So, the matter is now with the top six, it is the one which is going to decide whether the party will intervene or not,” Ntombela told Independent Media on Sunday.

It was not clear whether or not Zuma’s lawyers had filed their papers for the hearing.

Meanwhile, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), an alliance partner of the ANC, has joined the fray. The movement’s secretary-general, Richard Mkhungo, slammed the court’s ruling, claiming that judiciary dictatorship was slowly creeping in.

“Signs of a judiciary dictatorship are there for every citizen of this country to see. Under normal circumstances, the role of judges and their courts ends when they impose sentences. We find it strange that nowadays courts are telling government departments whether to release or not release inmates on parole. They are also close to questioning Presidential parole as well. The commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services has the prerogative to grant or not grant parole to inmates sentenced to less than 24 months. Court can’t just usurp his powers,” Mkhungo claimed.

Political Bureau

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