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PODCAST | The Story: Spotlight on court rulings after Walus, Zuma judgments

  • The SCA ruled the decision to release Jacob Zuma on early medical parole was unlawful.
  • In another court, on the same day, another ruling dominated headlines.
  • The Constitutional Court ruled that Janusz Walus, who gunned down Chris Hani almost 30 years ago, be released on parole. 

This week, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled the decision to release former president Jacob Zuma on early medical parole was unlawful. 

Last year, the Pretoria High Court found that former prisons boss Arthur Fraser acted unlawfully by granting parole to Zuma, which was against the recommendations of the medical parole advisory board. 

On Monday, Fraser and Zuma’s appeal against that decision was dismissed – with costs. 

In another court, the highest in the country, another ruling dominated the headlines. 

The Constitutional Court ruled that Janusz Walus, who gunned down SACP leader Chris Hani almost 30 years ago, be released on parole. 

READ | ‘Zondo has failed this country’: Limpho Hani slams ConCourt’s order to grant parole to Janusz Walus

This week, on The Story, we speak to News24 specialist legal reporter Karyn Maughan about what the SCA’s ruling means for Zuma and whether he will be heading back to jail. 

And we speak to News24’s assistant editor for investigations, Pieter du Toit, about the Walus case. 

Maughan said there was a chance Zuma could challenge the SCA’s ruling.

“Jacob Zuma’s previous litigation strategy has been to fight in every possible court that he can. I think it’s possible that he could seek a reconsideration application. He has done that in the past.”

On Wednesday, the Department of Correctional Services said it planned to appeal the SCA ruling; it believed a different court could come to a different conclusion. 

Maughan said if Zuma chose to approach the Constitutional Court, it could be “complex”. 

READ | Jacob Zuma must go back to jail and prison bosses must ‘lawfully’ decide on his release – appeal court

“His antagonism towards Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is well-documented, and if he does make a potential appeal to the Constitutional Court, there are potential issues with the fact that this is essentially the same court that sent him to prison for contempt in the first place.”

As for the ConCourt’s parole decision, Du Toit said the case had sparked a lot of emotional reaction, but that Walus had been eligible for parole for 15 years already.

“He was one of the people who brought the country to the brink of a bloody revolution because that’s what they wanted to achieve. They wanted to throw a match into the tinder box of the very fraught environment that was April 1993, and they wanted a racial war.”

Du Toit believes Walus has served his time in prison, but still has some reparations to make.

“He should live out his days in this country, get involved in community upliftment projects, and try to help build a country that is still trying to come to terms with modern democracy.”

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