It’s a ‘big reality’ that Professor Karabus might never come home, says wife

2013-05-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Archbishop Tutu helped, as did politicians and doctors from all over the world. A woman in Gugulethu even gave R25 to help get Professor Cyril Karabus home.

But for his wife, Jenifer Karabus, it is a a real prospect that the 78-year-old oncologist might never return home.

“All the support is wonderful,” she said. “But for me it is a big reality that he might never come home.”

She was speaking on the sidelines of an address to the Cape Town Press Club by Karabus’s lawyer, Michael Bagraim, on his situation in Abu Dhabi.

She said she had made arrangements to get his body back to South Africa, if he were to die in the United Arab Emirates.

“At this stage, it’s my greatest fear. It is difficult to acknowledge it, but it must be done,” she said.

The professor has been detained in UAE since last August, and although he has been cleared of causing the death of a young leukaemia patient, for which he was convicted in absentia in 2003, he has still not been given his passport to return home.

He goes to the prison daily to try to get his passport.

The prison has not yet sent his passport to the court for return to the professor, and the administration of the situation is taking a very long time, Bagraim said.

“His temper is a bit short at the moment, but he hasn’t given up,” the lawyer said.

Jenifer Karabus said she did not phone her husband every day, “so I am only disappointed three times a week, not seven times”.

She said she had got so used to being alone that having him home would be an adjustment.

“I’ll have to cook again,” she quipped.

Bagraim thanked everyone who had helped Karabus, naming Tutu and Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa’s ambassador to the U.S. and a former premier of the Western Cape.

“A woman from Gugulethu brought R25 to our office in town, insisting that it should be added to the legal fund,” he said.

Several doctors withdrew from the World Health conference in Gauteng in support of Karabus in his predicament.

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