Demands that Ramaphosa free Zuma within 14 days, but will Zuma apply for parole?

The Free Jacob Zuma campaign has given the government and the president a 14-day ultimatum to release him immediately, but that can only be considered if Zuma applies for a pardon or medical parole.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni has said the only way that former President Jacob Zuma will be released earlier than the 15 months that he is serving is if he applied for parole.

Ntshaveni has responded to the Free Jacob Zuma campaign that has given the government and the president a 14-day ultimatum to release him immediately.

This is even though he has no powers to do so unless he grants him a pardon – and unless Zuma applies for that pardon.

READ: Free Jacob Zuma campaign gives Ramaphosa 14 days to release him from prison

Ntshaveni also responded to demands made by Carl Niehaus, Adile Lungisa, and Phapano Phasha – all staunch supporters of the former president.

“There is a Constitution in this country, and there are laws in this country that provide for those who have been arrested and how they are treated. The Minister of Justice has clarified that former President Jacob Zuma will be eligible for parole within three months and three weeks and that he qualifies for medical parole if he applies at any time he chooses to apply. That is the stance of government.”

WATCH: Constitutions stands -he can apply for parole


Meanwhile, the suspended spokesperson of the disbanded uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) Carl Niehaus has said that the narrative has been created that the Free Jacob Zuma campaign is behind the looting and violence that swept KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Niehaus, who was suspended by the African National Congress (ANC) for saying there would be instability if Zuma was arrested, was joined in addressing the media by Andile Lungisa whose membership has also been suspended.

ALSO READ: Kodwa – we had intelligence on plot for domestic instability before Zuma’s arrest

Niehaus was responding to State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa, who said the net was closing in on the instigators of the violence.

The campaign said criminal elements had hijacked their cause even though Niehaus repeatedly called for anarchy before Zuma was arrested – until the ANC suspended him.

Niehaus said Kodwa must apologise for linking the campaign to the violence.

“That frustration has boiled over. Now no one must be disingenuous to come and try to blame me, the MKMVA, or anyone else. That statement by the deputy minister of intelligence is simply misinformation and propaganda to escape the responsibility of the government and leadership of the ANC.”

The campaign said Zuma’s rights were violated because of his advocacy for radical economic transformation and his crusade against white monopoly capital – without providing any evidence to support this claim.

Zuma was sentenced to 15 months by the Constitutional Court for refusing to appear before the inquiry into state capture headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

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