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South African rights watchdog calls for calm after Zuma judgment

Jacob Zuma

Johannesburg, South Africa | Xinhua | The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Wednesday called for calm following a court verdict which said former President Jacob Zuma has to be sent back to jail.

This follows the verdict by the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday nullifying and setting aside the granting of the medical parole to Zuma.

“The Commission also notes that the social media is already abuzz with statements that have the potential to inflame the situation in the country. The Commission calls for calm and appeals to all the people of South Africa to continue being law-abiding members of society and ensure that their actions and statements contribute to nation-building and social harmony, do not heighten tensions and lead to further destruction and violation of people’s rights,” said SAHRC spokesperson Gushwell Brooks.

Zuma was imprisoned in July for refusing to appear at the State Capture Inquiry probing corruption during his presidency. The jailing of Zuma resulted in unrest which claimed over 300 lives and led to the destruction and burning of shopping malls. He was moved to a hospital prison in August, before being released in September on medical parole.

Brooks said statements on the media and social media sparked the July unrest.

“The Commission also calls upon the security cluster to note the developments, including the evolving social media discourse about the recent High Court decision, and to do their best to prevent the repeat of the July 2021 experiences. Let us all be calm and exercise restraint and allow the judicial processes to unfold,” he said.



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