- Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says the country should remain in check after a decision to send Jacob Zuma back to jail
- The Pretoria High Court ruled that Zuma’s medical parole release from prison last month went against the law
- Lamola said steps were being taken to avert a crisis in the event of another civil unrest over the court's judgement
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PRETORIA - Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola is calling for calm across South Africa following the Pretoria High Court's decision to overturn former National Commissioner of Correctional Services Arthur Fraser's decision to grant former President Jacob Zuma medical parole.
Reports on the ground suggest the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be on high alert for any signs of unrest across South Africa following the ruling that Zuma should go back to jail to see out his sentence.
Briefly News previously reported that the 79-year-old was slapped with a 15-month prison sentence by the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) for contempt of court after he blatantly refused to comply with an order from the chairperson of the State Capture Inquiry, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he give testimony at the commission earlier this year.
Further, the High Court ruled that Zuma's medical parole release from prison last month went against the law. During a security cluster meeting in Pretoria, Lamola told reporters that steps were being taken to thwart incidents similar to those that transpired amid the civil unrest in July, according to SABC News.
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Unrest dark period in country's history
At the height of the unrest, consistent reports in the media told of a dark period in the country's democratic dispensation. After at least two weeks of widespread looting and public violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the two provinces at the heart of the devastation, the number of those killed stood at more than 300 people.
The destruction of property at malls in various locations was unspeakable, amounting to hundreds of billions of rands before Premier Sihle Zikalala declared a provincial state of disaster in KwaZulu-Natal.
Lamola has implored South Africans to exercise calm, adding the public should desist from making inflammatory statements that could incite violence. The minister also warned that lambasting the courts could provoke the situation, according to an IOL report.
Appeal for calm from citizens
“South Africans should stay calm given the court's decision regarding the former President. We must allow the law to take its course. The legal parties are engaging the court processes on the matter, so inflammatory statements and unwarranted attack on the judiciary is ill-advised,” stressed Lamola.
Briefly News understands the Jacob Zuma Foundation and the Correctional Services Department have committed to submitting a leave to appeal the decision of the court which essentially quashes Fraser’s decision to grant Zuma medical parole.
JGZ Foundation says ruling against Zuma is vindictive
Elsewhere, Briefly News recently reported that the Jacob Zuma Foundation declared that the High Court's decision to order Zuma to return to prison is based on revenge.
Zuma had previously been released on medical parole, which the court subsequently discovered was unlawful. The Foundation added that Zuma has applied to appeal the court's decision with the intention of the court to set aside the decision to release him on medical parole.
The High Court ordered Zuma to complete his 15-month prison sentence, eNCA reported. According to EWN, Mzwanele Manyi, Zuma's spokesperson, expressed that he believes the court's decision was incorrect. He referred to the court order as "cruel and vindictive."
Source: Briefly News