News24

Schabir behaves well, gets reward

2010-08-11 23:03

Durban – Schabir Shaik, convicted fraudster and former financial advisor of President Jacob Zuma, has been given back some of the privileges he lost after breaking his medical parole conditions in December.

He was photographed at the end of December last year, driving to a shop in his BMW on a weekday to do shopping in the Durban neighbourhood of Morningside.

Shaik was released on medical parole after having served two years and four months of his 15-year prison sentence, due to a corrupt relationship with Zuma.

The authorities then found that he was terminally ill. Family members said he had lost half his sight and that chronic high blood pressure had affected his kidneys and brain.

The time Shaik was allowed to spend outside the house on Saturdays was shortened from six to two hours after his transgression in December.

Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula, minister of correctional services, said Shaik will be arrested again should he make another wrong move, but the department also said the limitation of his privileges will be revised after six months.

Besides shortening the time that he’s allowed to leave the house, the department at the time also ordered that Shaik’s doctors consult with him at home from then on.

Common practice

Shaik has been well-behaved since the incident in December, which is why he regained some privileges, Maelisi Wolela, spokesperson for the department of correctional services, said on Wednesday.

According to reports, Shaik is once again allowed to leave his house on Saturdays between 11:00 and 17:00.

Wolela said it’s common practice to revise people’s parole conditions at certain intervals because it “encourages thousands of people on parole to behave correctly”.

However, James Selfe, DA member of the Parliamentary portfolio committee regarding correctional services, said the progressive slackening of conditions for medical parole is “improper and a mistake”, since such people are basically under house arrest because they are dying and infirm.

Selfe took up the matter again with Judge Deon van Zyl, inspector-general of prisons, on Wednesday. It is within the judge’s power to refer a case to the parole revision board.

Vincent Smith, chair of the portfolio committee, said when the department appears before them again later this month, it will also want to know whether the freedoms people on medical parole enjoy are revised periodically based on their behaviour.