Nov 29, 2021

Former SA’s President Medical Records At The Centre Of His Fitness To Stand Trial

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Mr Zuma’s special plea hearing is expected to be postponed to later this month to give way for a health assessment of the former president.

FILE PHOTO: Former president Jacob Zuma sits in the Pietermaritzburg High Court for the hearing. PICTURE: Reuters

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DURBAN: Former president has been granted medical parole over the weekend is set to stand trial today.

The battle for the former president, Mr Jacob Zuma’s medical records and whether he is fit to stand trial starts on Thursday.

Mr Zuma’s special plea hearing is expected to be postponed to later this month to give way for a health assessment of the former president.

This was set to be done by state-appointed specialists with the cooperation of Mr Zuma’s own medical team.

Mr Zuma has been granted medical parole after serving a two–month prison sentence on charges of contempt after he refused to appear at the Zondo Commission.

The former ANC leader, who was granted medical parole over the weekend, remains in hospital after undergoing an undisclosed medical procedure.

CASAC executive strategy, Lawson Naidoo states it comes as no surprise that the former president has been granted medical parole.

“If there correct process was followed then there is no reason to complain. If he needs emergency medical treatment then he has the right to be given that,” he said.

According to Section 79 of the Correctional Services Act: Any person serving any sentence in prison and who based on a written evidence of a medical practitioner treating the person is diagnosed as being in the final phase of any terminal disease or condition may be considered for placement under correctional supervision or parole.

Opposing parties have come out strongly claiming that this is a political decision or the favoritism shown to the former president they believe that this is some sort of strategy to excuse the former president from his prison sentence.

There has been suspicions of foul play or unfair advantage that led to the granting of these parole, the Democratic Alliance leader, Mr John Steenhuisen said.

“This is a political decision rather than a medical decision,” he added.

Meanwhile, the former president and French company Thales are facing corruption and racketeering charges stemming from the 1999 arms deal.

Last month’s back and forth over Zuma’s fitness to stand trial will still linger for a little bit longer as his corruption trial is pushed back to allow for medical assessments.

The National Prosecuting Authority received his medical records on the 27 August.

“It will be through virtual proceedings. This is to enable the State appointed team of specialists to consider the medical evidence in cooperation with Mr Zuma’s medical team,” said the NPA’s Mthunzi Mhaga.

The matter will be postponed to 20 and 21 of September.

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