Officials won't comment on Schabir Shaik
Johannesburg - The correctional services department has declined any further comment on Schabir Shaik's temporary re-imprisonment and parole review board hearing, saying on Wednesday that there would be no "operational" updates.
"We are not giving any updates," said ministry spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga after the convicted fraudster was taken to Westville prison on Monday following two newspaper reports claiming that he had attacked a journalist at a golf course and a fellow worshipper at a mosque.
He would not discuss Shaik's lawyer Reeves Parsee's reported comment that Shaik had been taken to the prison's hospital wing after the shock of Monday's events.
Shaik has served just over two years of a 15-year-prison sentence for fraud and corruption linked to allegations of facilitating a bribe from an arms company to Jacob Zuma before he became president.
A follow up case against Zuma and the arms company Thint was dropped shortly before the 2009 elections, which led to Zuma becoming president, when the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions declared parts of the investigation problematic.
Shaik was released on parole with a terminal illness but sparked controversy and accusations of special treatment because of his political connections. Public criticism heightened when it emerged that he was spotted eating at restaurants, playing golf and attending mosque.
After he explained himself he was given a warning by the prisons department which also told the public that he was allowed to leave his home for outings a certain number of hours per week.
The Sunday Times reported that he allegedly assaulted Sunday Tribune journalist Amanda Khoza who had been assigned the story of covering him playing golf at the Papwa Sewgolum course outside Durban.
The Sunday Times then reported that he allegedly struck a fellow worshipper who he had reportedly parked in.
The investigation related to the alleged assault on Khoza is "coming along very well", said KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe.
The Times reported that police had approached them for the telephone number of the man involved in the alleged mosque incident but when they asked him for permission to give the number to police, he asked them not to.
He did not lay charges.