Karabus: Your support has been fantastic

2013-05-17 14:49
Cyril Karabus (Jerusha Sukhdeo, News24)

Cyril Karabus (Jerusha Sukhdeo, News24)

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Cape Town - Professor Cyril Karabus thanked South Africa on Friday for its support, and said this had been critical for his release from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"I really must thank everybody. Your support has just been fantastic," the 78-year-old, who wore a checked shirt and jeans, said at Cape Town International Airport.

Karabus touched down just before noon, looking exhausted, but relieved after his long flight.

The paediatric oncologist had been detained in the UAE since 18 August, after being sentenced in absentia for the death of a Yemeni girl he treated for leukaemia in 2002.

Administrative delays

He was acquitted on 21 March, and won the case again on appeal, but his return to South Africa was delayed because he was on the UAE's database as a fugitive from justice.

There were also administrative delays in obtaining his passport from UAE authorities, and problems with his visa.

Karabus said the ordeal had affected him, but not too much.

"I'm a fairly stable, or unfeeling if you like, person, so it probably had more impact on my wife and kids than on me," he said.

"It's been nine months of my life: Almost the time for the gestation of a baby," he joked.

Homecoming

He said there had been ups and downs in that time, but that he had somehow managed to cope.

He was joined in the media room at the airport by Deputy International Relations Minister Marius Fransman, his lawyer Michael Bagraim, the Pan African Forum, and businessman Iqbal Surve, who knew him from the medical field.

Karabus arrived to cheers and applause as he was escorted through the arrivals terminal to be re-united with his wife Jennifer.

They hugged and kissed, surrounded by family and friends.

He slowly made his way to greet and shake the hands of some of the many supporters who called his name from behind a barrier.

He struggled to be heard as a group of Cape minstrels played a series of happy songs.

- Were you there? Send us your photos.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cyril karabus  |  cape town  |  uae  |  good news
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