Newspaper releases details of Shaik medical reports

2010-01-15 10:41

The Mail & Guardian on Friday released details of the medical

reports which led to Schabir Shaik’s controversial parole.

According to the report, a psychiatrist, Dr Abubaker Gangat, said

Shaik’s persistently high blood pressure had “potentially dire consequences for

the eyes, kidneys, heart and brain” and that “organ damage to the eyes and

kidneys is already present”.

Gangat noted that Shaik had Severe Emotional Disorder combined with

life-threatening physical disorders.

Shaik’s private physician Dr Salim Gaffoor said Shaik had severe

resistant hypertension with end organ damage.

His blood pressure remained high and, according to Gaffoor, his

blood pressure would not be controlled while in prison. These were annexed to a

report to a Dr Ngenisile Mbanjwa.

The publication said it could not establish whether Mbanjwa had

examined Shaik.

Mbanjwa recommended that Shaik be granted parole “to die a

consolatory and dignified death” in terms of Section 70 of the Correctional

Services Act.

She wrote a letter summarising her understanding of Shaik’s medical

condition for the parole board.

It read in part: “Based on all the medical reports from my

colleagues/Independent Medical Practitioners concerning the inmate-patient’s

medical condition, all the investigations and medications the inmate-patient is

on, the prognostic features and concurrently with end (final) stage multiple

organ failure (terminating illness) due to uncontrolled or refactory

hypertension despite multiple medications including psychiatric

medications.”

The newspaper also wrote that the parole board did not include a

medical doctor and that only Shaik’s psychiatrist was interviewed.

Gangat said that releasing Shaik was likely to lead to an

improvement in his condition.

The publication sought an opinion from a medical consultant who

said that while Shaik was clearly not well, from the information available he

was not terminally ill.

The consultant commented that if he had severe visual problems, it

would be inconsistent with Shaik driving a car, as he was seen doing after his

release.

The department of correctional services said it had sent Shaik a

warning letter after he admitted to being out in public in contravention of his

conditions of parole, and without informing his parole officer in

December.

Shaik was released last March after being sentenced to 15 years in

prison for fraud and corruption in a trial which partially focused on whether he

had facilitated a bribe for President Jacob Zuma from a French arms

company.

His application for a pardon was among more than 300 that Zuma was

considering.


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