Selebi release not preferential: Official

By Drum Digital
20 July 2012

The release on medical parole of convicted former police commissioner Jackie Selebi was a purely medical decision, Correctional Services Commissioner Tom Moyane said on Friday.

"His wife applied (on Selebi's behalf) for the medical parole to be considered as such. He has spent 229 days in our facilities and it was our responsibility to do all the due diligence regarding his health," he said.

"It was confirmed that he is suffering from the diseases that the doctors said he is suffering from. So there was no preferential treatment to Mr Selebi," he said.

Chairman of the medical parole advisory board Victor Ramathesele, told reporters Selebi was currently receiving "the best possible treatment" at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

"All attempts have been made to ensure that he receives the best treatment. Preparations have been made to ensure that he continues to receive adequate treatment when he is released from hospital," said Ramathesele.

Selebi would remain at the Steve Biko hospital but would not be under the guardianship of the correctional services department.

"He has been released on medical parole but has not been discharged just yet. Doctors who have been looking after him have ensured that there is going to be continuation of proper medication [for Selebi] like any other South African.

"When the doctors feel he has to leave the hospital they will exercise that clinical judgement at that point," he said.

The embattled former Interpol president suffers from diabetes and kidney disease.

He was convicted of corruption on July 2, 2010 and handed a 15-year jail sentence.

Selebi appealed in the Supreme Court of Appeal against the corruption conviction. In December 2011 he collapsed at home in Waterkloof, Pretoria, while watching the appeal judgment on television. His appeal was denied.

This meant he had to begin his 15-year jail sentence for corruption. It was decided he would stay in Pretoria Central Prison's medical wing indefinitely.

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