Flash Briefing: Groups fight to send Zuma back to jail; Gupta brother pushes boundaries; ANC licks its wounds amid DA’s precarious victory

  • The Helen Suzman Foundation, the DA and AfriForum have approached the courts to have Jacob Zuma sent back to jail, saying that there has been absolutely no indication that the former president is terminally ill, making the granting of his medical parole unlawful. The former president spent one month in Estcourt prison in July, was moved to hospital in August, and released on medical parole in September. The groups argued in court on Tuesday that the medical parole was granted against the recommendation of the medical parole board, and Zuma’s outings after being released were proof that he was fine. Zuma’s lawyers called the applicants racist and right-wing. No specific ailments were mentioned, but the legal team said Zuma needs 24-hour care that he couldn’t get in jail.
  • The Department of Home Affairs is fighting to stop fraud-accused Atul Gupta from attaining a South African passport, saying that allowing such would be akin to enabling him to travel and, in effect, assist him in escaping criminal prosecution in South Africa. Gupta is currently a fugitive from justice with a warrant out for his arrest. He faces charges of fraud and money laundering under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. An application for a new South African passport was dismissed earlier this year, and Gupta’s legal team has applied to have this decision overturned. Home Affairs said that fugitives have no standing to litigate in the country’s courts.
  • With councils now established in all three major metros in Gauteng, the DA has emerged as the biggest winner, taking leadership roles in Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. However, the victory comes with the caveat that the roles come as a result of smaller political parties, with no formal coalition agreements in place. The party will need to lobby smaller players to pass important things like budgets and policies, and this could result in very volatile governance over the next five years. The ANC, meanwhile, has been left licking its wounds, with reports of infighting and turmoil within its ranks in Gauteng.
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