Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers are arguing that he is being punished for a decision that he did not take regarding his release on medical parole.
Adv Dali Mpofu is making submissions at an oral hearing in the former president’s leave to appeal in the Pretoria high court.
The court ruled last week that Zuma should return to prison to complete the remainder of his 15-month prison term after it found that releasing him on medical parole was unlawful.
Zuma was jailed after the Constitutional Court found him in contempt for his failure to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry.
Mpofu said there’s overwhelming prospects of success on appeal in a higher court.
He emphasised that Zuma did not take a decision to release himself from prison but was being punished for it.
Mpofu said the matter was about interpretation of law which could see a different court reaching a different outcome.
“We have said that that we want your Lordship to refer the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal or alternatively to a full bench,” stated Mpofu.
He argued that it judge Elias Matojane based his judgment that Zuma did not qualify for medical parole on the words used by one of the doctors who produced reports about the former president’s medical condition.
“Both on the interpretation point as well as the rationality point, another court the SCA or the Constitutional Court would find differently on that but the problem is more serious than that, your Lordship, have a duty to engage with these arguments, reject them or accept them but these are serious arguments of interpretation of statute,” Mpofu stated.
He said all prisoners still had their Constitutional rights in the Bill of Rights, including access to medical treatment.
Zuma wants to appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) against the whole judgment and order handed down by Matojane last week.