Names of other medical parolees 'secret'

2012-07-21 06:59
The names of the other offenders granted medical parole with Jackie Selebi are confidential, an official says. (File, AP)

The names of the other offenders granted medical parole with Jackie Selebi are confidential, an official says. (File, AP)

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Pretoria - The names of the other offenders granted medical parole with Jackie Selebi are confidential, an official said on Friday.

Correctional Services' chief deputy commissioner James Smallburger said their names would not be given to the media.

"We are not going to give you those [name]. We have not discussed that with the parolees as we have done with Mr Selebi. No, we can't give [the names to] you," he said.

Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele said the medical parole advisory met on 20 June and considered 12 applications by terminally ill offenders.

"Six offenders were recommended for medical parole. Three offenders died whilst documentation was underway. Three offenders were not recommended for parole," Ndebele said.

"Mr Selebi will be released today. Another offender is expected to be released next week. Two offenders were released on the 9 and 12 of July," he said.

Ndebele said the six offenders, including Selebi, met the criteria stipulated in the Correctional Services Act for release on medical parole.

"These include that all suffered from a medical condition which is terminal, chronic, progressive and has deteriorated or reached an irreversible state," he said.

A senior registrar at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr Anil Kurian, who is in charge of Selebi's treatment, said the beleaguered former top cop was in a critical condition.

"Mr Selebi has end-stage renal disease for which he is receiving dialysis. End-stage renal disease means the person has irreversible kidney damage and they end up on dialysis for life," he said.

"This is a permanent condition for which you require dialysis for survival. We manage this kind of patient on a day-in, day-out basis, and unfortunately the chorus does not change," said Kurian.

Chairperson of the medical parole advisory board, Victor Ramathesele, said Selebi would remain at the 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.

Very ill

The correctional services department said it had limited capacity to provide "palliative care" to terminally ill offenders, and would provide the care in conjunction with external service providers while processing releases on medical grounds.

Selebi was president of Interpol at the time of the investigation into claims that he received money from convicted drug trafficker and police informer Glenn Agliotti.

He was convicted of corruption on July 2 2010, was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Selebi appealed to 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 indefinitely stay in Pretoria Central Prison's medical wing.

At the time, he had not instructed his medical team to apply for medical parole. Selebi was trained to administer his own treatment.

Following the announcement of his release on parole on Friday, his lawyer said Selebi should have been granted medical parole much sooner.

"We are all very grateful and happy [about his parole]," his lawyer Wynanda Coetzee said.

"He should have been allowed to go home a while ago already. His situation is very serious and he is very ill," she said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    jacki selebi  |  prisons
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