A South African court has ruled that the country’s former President Jacob Zuma should be returned to prison, saying his medical parole was unlawful.
The time he has spent out of prison should not be counted in his 15-month sentence, the Tswane High Court ruled.
Zuma was released on September 5 for an undisclosed medical condition.
He had been jailed for refusing to appear before the Zondo Commission that was investigating him over corruption he allegedly committed during his presidency.
The 79-year-old handed himself to police in July after a public stand-off, but his jailing, unprecedented for an ex-president, sparked violent protests and looting.
More than 300 people, mostly in Zuma’s stronghold of Kwa-Zulu Natal province, died in the protests.
The former leader had testified only once at the inquiry into what has become known as “state capture” – meaning the siphoning off of state assets.
Businessmen have been accused of conspiring with politicians to influence the decision-making process while he was in office. Zuma has repeatedly said he is the victim of a political conspiracy.
Prison authorities say his release on parole was compelled by a medical report, but his sickness has never been disclosed.
He did, however, undergo surgery after he was imprisoned with his spokesman saying at the time that imprisonment had had further deteriorated his health condition.
On Wednesday, judges in the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the decision by the top correctional officer to release Zuma on medical parole was “reviewed, declared unlawful, and set aside”.
Zuma is expected to appeal the decision.