Shaik's tips for Selebi

2013-10-08 00:00

DISGRACED former police commissioner and convicted criminal Jackie Selebi was a “walking timebomb” and should seek “self-introspection”, says Schabir Shaik, the convicted Durban fraudster and medical parolee.

He was responding to The Witness after news that Selebi had been pictured at a shopping centre in Monument Park, Pretoria, on Sunday.

Both former political heavyweights, Shaik and Selebi are controversially on medical parole after being handed jail sentences.

In both cases, the Department of Correctional Services parole board said the men’s condition had reached an irreversible state and their conditions were “terminal”.

Shaik, who was released on medical parole in March 2009, said it was not up to the public to decide when a person should die.

“[Selebi] is a walking, talking time bomb. If the media is questioning [why Selebi is still alive] they should rather scrutinise the medical diagnosis. I am not condoning what crime he committed, but I don’t believe he is in cahoots with medical professionals. They are not going to put their careers on the line for him,” said Shaik.

He said Selebi would handle the public scrutiny better if he had “self-introspection”.

“He needs to reflect on his own life and get his humanness back,” said Shaik.

He said often politicians who have wielded large amounts of power think they are “greater than God” and that they find it difficult to adjust when the power is removed.

Shaik said Selebi’s recent shopping trip sighting would have no bearing on Shaik’s own medical parole. He said the parole board was properly constituted and made informed decisions.

Selebi was jailed for 15 years in 2010 for taking bribes from convicted drug dealer Glen Agliotti. After his appeals failed in December 2011, he collapsed at his home. He was imprisoned, but released on medical parole in July 2012, with the medical parole board saying he was suffering from irreversible kidney failure, a stroke, diabetes, heart and eye disease, and motor function impairment.

Shaik was jailed for 15 years when he was found guilty, among other things, for soliciting a bribe from French arms manufacturer Thomson-CSF for now President Jacob Zuma.

The charge was linked to the controversial R70 billion arms deal currently being scrutinised by a commission of inquiry.

Shaik’s guilty verdict allowed the National Prosecuting Authority to pursue criminal charges against Zuma, which were eventually dropped in 2009.

According to sister paper Beeld, Selebi did not break his parole conditions, which include getting time off on a Sunday to go to church or do grocery shopping.

Shaik said in his case his medical aid, Discovery Health, flew two hypertension specialists from Cape Town to assess his condition.

“They concurred that I had uncontrolled refractory hypertension, which affects about four percent of the population and in my case is genetic. I was in St Augustine’s at the time.

“Ultimately, they got Discovery to pay my mounting medical bills, which were at that time in excess of R900 000,” he said.

“I may be mobile, but it is a silent killer. I could be anywhere such as playing golf or driving and it could strike. Therefore, in Selebi’s case, look at the medical review to get a balanced view. If you [the media] want to look into this matter further, ask for his medical reports,” said Shaik.

Shaik said he may soon be eligible for normal parole, having served eight years of his sentence. His sentence will be completed in 2021.

“This will give me the ability to work again, which I am not allowed to do now. I have had all my state contracts removed, cash and assets. At age 57, I am not going to fight anymore but rather enjoy what years I have left,” said Shaik.

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