Shaik denies breaking parole

2009-08-12 09:39
Durban - Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik has called allegations that he broke the conditions of his parole by driving around in Durban's Musgrave area a "total fabrication".

This is according to Thami Zondi of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Correctional Services, in response to a video that shows Shaik entering his Innes Road home on Monday afternoon.

It also emerged that Shaik is allowed out of his home at specific times to do his shopping and other errands.

Shaik was released on medical parole on March 3 after serving two years and four months of a 15-year prison term for fraud and corruption.

Cellphone video

The cellphone video shows Shaik driving a BMW, and was shot by DA councillor Dean McPherson.

McPherson was driving around the Musgrave area when he noticed Shaik driving a black top-of-the-range BMW and decided to follow him.

He alleged that Shaik stopped to buy balloons from a street vendor.

Zondi said a Correctional Services official visited Shaik at his Innes Road home on Tuesday to discuss the video and determine whether he had broken the conditions of his parole.

"We visited his home this morning and confronted him about the allegations. He denied them and said that he was at home," he said.

'Total fabrication'

Zondi said Shaik was not concerned that the video has been made public and called the allegations a "total fabrication".

Zondi said the only time during which Shaik is allowed to leave his home is on a Saturday afternoon between noon and 16:00.

"Shaik is only allowed to leave his house during this time for shopping and other things."

When The Witness visited Shaik's home on Tuesday, it was the picture of serenity with no sign of other media camping out on his immaculate front lawns. A security guard was stationed outside the main gate.

The video has also caused a stir on local websites, and viewers have called for it to be posted online. Others have posted comments on the video.

Political favouritism

The DA has described Shaik’s early release from prison on medical parole as "nothing more than political favouritism".

The DA’s James Selfe said: "It becomes more certain that Shaik’s release from prison was purely political and had little to do with a terminal illness. As the president's ally, he was ushered out of jail after barely serving any time … under a false pretext."

He said that there are many terminally ill inmates whose medical paroles have been recommended by the Parole Board, but they are not released and die in jail.

Selfe said the DA sent a letter to the Minister of Correctional Services in May to have Shaik’s case referred to the Parole Review Board, but the request was declined.

Parole won't be reviewed

Meanwhile, Correctional Services have said that there is no basis for a review of Shaik's parole.

"It must be remembered that Mr Shaik was examined by three medical doctors who concurred that he qualified for placement of parole in terms of Section 79 of Correctional Services Act," the department said on Tuesday.

The department said that the medical doctors were also subjected to scrutiny by the Health Professions Council of South Africa, which cleared them of any wrongdoing.
 
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