Durban – Jacob Zuma will not be going back to jail, so says Carl Niehaus.
He said Zuma was a free man who had already served his time.
Niehaus shared a post on social media following a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously confirming that Zuma’s medical parole was unlawful.
Former correctional services head Arthur Fraser had overruled the medical parole board and allowed Zuma to finish his term at home.
Zuma’s legal representatives argued that the 80-year-old required around-the-clock care, which no correctional services facility was capable of providing.
On Monday, the court had overturned a high court ruling by Judge Elias Matojane.
The Department of Correctional Services acknowledged the ruling, adding that it respected the court’s decision and would study the full judgment in seeking to clarify a way forward within the requisite time frame.
Niehaus said he found the judgment strange and disconcerting.
He said the ruling did not change Zuma’s current situation.
“The Department of Correctional Services has released him. He has served his sentence because the medical parole period that he served has to be taken into consideration and therefore he is a free man,” he said.
“It is my impression that while the court understood that president Zuma was absolutely correct in the legal approach that he took with regards to this appeal, they could not find it in themselves to give a positive ruling and grant him a victory.
“This is the kind of courts, this is the kind of legal system we have now, full of contradictions and very obviously captured. It is truly a sad situation for our courts,” he said.
In July last year, Zuma was sent to jail after the Constitutional Court sentenced him to a 15 months prison sentence for contempt of court.
Just days after his arrest, unprecedented violence and looting followed in KZN, with shopping centres and distribution hubs coming under fire.
An IOL report in July said over 16 000 businesses were negatively impacted by the July Unrest, placing 9 100 jobs at risk in Durban alone.
The July Unrest damage was estimated at over R50bn, according to Sasria.