A Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa has ordered former president, Jacob Zuma to return to prison.
The apex court on Monday directed the former president to finish his sentence for contempt of court.
According to the court, the decision to release Zuma from prison on early medical parole was unlawful.
Recall that the former president of South Africa was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment in 2021 after he ignored a court order to testify at a government inquiry into widespread corruption during his administration.
Zuma was released from prison in September 2021, based on medical parole, after serving a fraction of his sentence.
The high court, however, in December set aside the parole decision and ordered him to return to jail.
The former president of South Africa appealed the ruling and the judgement was delivered on Monday after the department of correctional services said in October that his prison sentence has finished.
The Supreme Court’s judgement reads, “In other words, Mr Zuma, in law, has not finished serving his sentence. He must return to the Escourt Correctional centre to do so.”
The court took issue with the department’s claim that Zuma’s sentence had ended when the appeal was still being heard.
The court also ruled that the decision by the former national commissioner of correctional services to grant Zuma medical parole against the advice of the Medical Parole Advisory Board, a specialist body, was unlawful.
The judgement states, “on any conceivable basis, the commissioner’s decision was unlawful and unconstitutional. The high court was correct to set it aside.”
A spokesperson for the department of correctional services while reacting to the ruling said the judgement was being studied and it would likely respond later.