Wednesday, 08 September 2021 22:52

Staff Reporter.

The outgoing National Commissioner at the department of correctional services, Arthur Fraser, has admitted that he overruled the parole board to grant the controversial medical parole to former President Jacob Zuma.

The board "indicated that he [Zuma] was in a stable condition".

Zuma was serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of the Constitutional Court and he started his sentence at Estcourt prison on July 8 this year before he went to an outside hospital.

According to him, that from the onset, Zuma declared his comorbidities.

"He came to our facility, we have a responsibility to provide security and care. And as in all instances, when we admit a person into our facility, we make sure we do a full assessment, including a health assessment."

Fraser said they realised they had a person in their custody who was frail and required specialised treatment.

It was Zuma's medical team, in conjunction with correctional services, which indicated he could no longer be kept at the facility because the type of medical care required could not be provided at correctional services.

Fraser insisted that his decision, which is now being challenged by the likes of the DA, Helen Suzman Foundation and Afriforum, would withstand any legal scrutiny that may arise.

He made these disclosures on Wednesday during an interview with the public broadcaster where he was quizzed about several issues that had featured his name.

He said correctional services allocated a doctor to do an observation, and based on that, recommendations were made to the board.

However, it did not approve medical parole because Zuma was in a stable condition.

He said he rescinded the order because he took the decision to place the former president on medical parole.

According to Fraser, the reasons were available in documents and would be presented to whoever needed to see it, adding the reasons were legal and procedural.