“Just leave JZ to enjoy Christmas with his children.”
That was the statement made by UDM leader General Bantu Holomisa on Wednesday.
Holomisa said President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola and then prisons boss Arthur Fraser should answer for how Zuma was initially released.
His comments follow the ruling by the court to set aside the decision made by former Correctional Services boss Arthur Fraser to release Zuma on medical parole in September after the former head of state was sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Constitutional Court earlier this year.
The court instead ruled that the time Zuma spent out on medical parole should not be counted for the fulfilment of his 15 months sentence.
Holomisa maintained that the people who should be made to answer for Zuma’s initial release on medical parole should be Ramaphosa, Lamola and the then National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Fraser.
“Zuma didn’t go out of jail on his own, so the processes of the government of the ANC and the ANC are coming back to bite them. Let them swim in their stew, because it’s either they have instructed Fraser to release JZ and made him the fall guy because they had political pressure.
“They should just leave JZ to enjoy Christmas with his children and everything, so Dali Mpofu can launch an appeal and that’s fine. The people who owe an explanation are the president, minister or the entire cabinet if the memo was sent to the cabinet for approval,” Holomisa said.
He said that there was no way that only Fraser could be blamed for Zuma’s release because he would have submitted a memo to Lamola in order for the minister to inform his president.
“There’s no junior officer who could have released JZ without a political directive from above, so they must explain that and then if that is the case they must leave Zuma alone, that’s the bottom line,” Holomisa said.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said that their appeal of the decision to release Zuma from prison on medical parole was not out of vindictiveness.
“We welcome the order that Mr Zuma’s medical parole be revoked immediately, that he be returned to the custody of Correctional Services to serve out the remainder of his sentence, that no time spent on medical parole is to be counted as time served and that he and Mr Fraser pay all legal costs.
“The DA pursued this case not out of spite or vindictiveness towards Mr Zuma, but because we recognise that respect for the rule of law and equality before the law are two of the most important principles in our democracy.
“If we allow these to slide, we will severely weaken the foundation of our constitutional democracy. We are greatly encouraged by the firm and unambiguous position taken by Justice KE Matojane in this regard,” Steenhuisen said.
IFP member of Parliament Narend Singh said that the court’s decision in relation to Zuma had to be respected while he also called for Zuma’s decision to appeal the court’s judgment to be respected in equal measure.
“Right from the beginning there was something suspect about the whole decision (to release Zuma on medical parole) and that has now been proven in the court of law. But one has to respect the side of the judiciary and the side of the person against whom the decision was taken to take the matter further if he so desires,” Singh said.