South Africa


A tale of two prisoners — Juane Jacobs and Jacob Zuma

The Department of Correctional Services has denied public allegations that double standards are being applied to inmates’ medical parole applications. (Photo:

Questions raised over perceived speciousness and double standards involved in medical parole eligibility processes in South Africa.

First published by GroundUp.

Juane Jacobs is a prisoner at Leeuwkop in Johannesburg. He is extremely ill but he has been denied medical parole. Are double standards being used to determine who gets medical parole in South African correctional facilities? DM

Contains dramatised scenes.

UPDATE 29 September, 2021

The NPA responded to this video as follows: “The NPA accepts that it is correct that any prisoner who suffers from a terminal disease might qualify for medical parole in terms of Section 79(1)(a) – (c) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998. There is however a further requirement that the risk of re-offending must be low. The NPA further accepts that the medical parole board acts according to prescribed powers and will only release those prisoners who qualify and not release those who do not. The NPA is, however, concerned that Mr Jacob’s family are wrongly and publicly issuing statements that Jacobs without question qualifies for medical parole, when this is still a matter for the medical parole board to decide according to strict criteria, including possibly the prisoner’s danger to society and this is causing the Schoombie family unnecessary and unfair anguish.”


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All Comments 2

  • Of course double standards are being used. jz is protected by cr and the anc, despite him being a convicted criminal (Perhaps because he is a criminal?). Juane Jacobs is just being treated (unfairly it seems) as a criminal.

  • This business of medical parole is highly questionable and clearly subject to abuse. If one has committed a crime and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, then the only grounds for parole should be good behaviour. If a criminal gets ill in prison then it is up to the state to ensure that s/he gets the best medical treatment while in a PRISON hospital. If a criminal dies in prison, as Charles Manson and many others have, so be it.

    This may be a hard-arsed attitude, but it will discourage criminals from trying to slime out of their debt to society, and hopefully will also discourage others from committing crime.

    As the saying goes. “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”.

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