Zuma remission: AfriForum demands key details

Ramaphosa and his administration continue to prove that they are not serious about tackling corruption

AfriForum demands key details from Presidency about nature of Jacob Zuma’s special remission

17 August 2023

The civil rights organisation AfriForum today submitted a PAIA application to the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa, demanding transparency regarding key details pertaining to former president Jacob Zuma’s special remission. This follows after Ramaphosa approved the special remission of the sentences of thousands of non-violent convicts, which included Zuma.

It is important to note that in 2023 the Constitutional Court upheld the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling that former National Commissioner of Correctional Services Commissioner Arthur Fraser’s granting of medical parole in 2021 to Zuma just two months into his 15-month sentence was unlawful.

With its PAIA application, AfriForum requested the following:

1. A comprehensive list of all individuals who benefited from the special remission, including their original sentences, charges, and the date of release.

2. Detailed guidelines or criteria used in determining which inmates were granted the special remission.

3. Any assessments, reports, or studies conducted to evaluate the potential social and security impacts of releasing such a significant number of inmates simultaneously.

4. Records of any consultations or meetings involving key stakeholders (such as community leaders, crime prevention organisations, etc.) leading up to the decision of the special remission.

5. For those released, information about any previous convictions or parole violations.

6. Details of any rehabilitation or reintegration programs that the released inmates underwent during their incarceration.

7. Mechanisms in place to monitor or track the behaviour and activities of released inmates to ensure community safety.

8. Any internal communications, memos, or reports that detail the rationale or justification for this specific special remission.

9. Detailed statistics or reports showing the expected vs. actual impact of the special remission on prison.

Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum, said that Zuma evading reincarceration through this approval of the special remission by Ramaphosa either makes Zuma one of the luckiest people in South Africa, or the ANC are using this as a smokescreen to help one of their comrades evade justice.

“President Ramaphosa and his administration continue to prove that they are not serious about tackling corruption. If an ANC cadre is involved, they have made it clear that they will pull every string necessary in order to ensure he does not see the inside of a prison cell,” Van Zyl concludes.

Issued by Ernst van Zyl, Campaign Officer: Strategy and Content, AfriForum, 17 August 2023