South Africa former president Jacob Zuma was on Tuesday, granted leave by a High Court to appeal a ruling that he return to prison after being released in September on medical parole.
That meant he will be able to spend Christmas at home.
Zuma, 79, was sentenced in June to 15 months in prison for contempt of court after ignoring instructions to participate in a corruption inquiry.
Zuma’s 2009-2018 presidency was marred by allegations of graft and wrongdoing and he faces a separate corruption trial linked to his sacking as deputy president in 2005 when he was implicated in a $2 billion allegedly corrupt arms deal.
He denies wrongdoing in all cases and says he is the victim of a political witch hunt.
He handed himself in to begin his sentence on July 7, triggering some of the worst violence South Africa had seen in years.
Zuma began medical parole in September, but earlier this month, South Africa’s high court ordered that decision void and that he should return to jail.
The High Court ruled on Tuesday that his legal team should be able to appeal against the judgment at a higher court.
“In my view, this matter merits the Supreme Court of Appeal’s attention,” Judge Elias Matojane said.
He added there was a reasonable possibility another court may rule differently on the issue of whether Zuma’s time on medical parole should count towards his sentence. Matojane previously ruled it should not.
This means the court order cannot be enforced until the superior court hears the matter and makes a judgment.
The legal processes against Zuma for alleged corruption during his nine-year reign are widely viewed as a test of post-apartheid South Africa’s ability to enforce the rule of law against powerful individuals.