South African Court Permits Zuma to Appeal Return-to-Jail Order
(Bloomberg) -- A South African High Court judge allowed former President Jacob Zuma to appeal an order that nullified a decision he be released early from prison on medical parole.
Zuma, 79, was jailed for 15 months in July for refusing to testify before a judicial panel that’s investigating graft during his nine-year rule. He was freed after serving less than two months. On Dec. 15, the High Court in Pretoria found that the decision to release him was unlawful and he should serve out the remainder of his term.
On Tuesday, Judge Elias Matojane ruled that a senior court may come to a different conclusion.
“His illness and advanced age needs compassion, empathy and humaneness,” Matojane said. “In my view another court may take this into consideration and find differently. For this reason, leave to appeal is granted to the Supreme Court of Appeal.”
Zuma’s arrest triggered riots in two provinces in which 354 people died. The ruling African National Congress said his incarceration ahead of municipal elections in November may have cost it votes. Support for the party slumped below 50% for the first time since it came to power in 1994, with opposition coalitions securing control of several key towns.
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