'Unfair' to compare Selebi to Shaik
Pretoria - Convicted former police chief Jackie Selebi has not applied for medical parole, and it is "unfair" to compare his case to that of convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, the correctional services department says.
Correctional services commissioner Tom Moyane said on Wednesday that Selebi was seriously ill and that doctors had recommended he stay in the medical wing of a correctional facility indefinitely.
Monyane said his department wanted to be transparent and open, but that the rights of patients had to be respected.
He added it was "unfair to make a comparative analysis" between Selebi and Shaik, who was released on medical parole in March 2009, after serving two years and four months of his 15-year prison term, because he was apparently terminally ill.
"We will not move into the comparative of the two," said Monyane.
'Critical but stable'
Earlier, Selebi's doctor said he was suffering from "end stage kidney disease" and his condition was critical but stable.
"It's reached the stage now where renal replacement therapy has become imperative," Heleen Bierman told reporters in Pretoria, adding that he was not currently a candidate for a kidney transplant.
Doctors had recommended that he stay in the medical wing of prison once discharged from hospital, which according to Bierman could happen towards the end of January.
Moyane said various chronic illnesses complicated Selebi's condition.
He had "uncontrollable sugar diabetic levels", "soaring hypertension levels" and "also had to undergo laser therapy to both his eyes".
"He is currently being treated by a team of doctors at the nephrology (kidney) department... his condition is very serious but stable.
"Because of the abnormal and stressful conditions of incarceration and his age being against him, the combination of his chronic illness compounds his medical care conditions," Moyane said of the 61-year-old.
He said correctional services had received a medical care report, according to which Selebi's medical management was complicated because of his diabetes and need for dialysis.
His medical team advised "he be kept indefinitely for the period of incarceration in the medical wing of the correctional facility".
Steve Biko Academic Hospital's chief executive Dr Ernest Kenoshi said staff at the prison where Selebi was being kept would be trained in administering dialysis, so Selebi could receive it in prison.
Selebi was taken to the nephrology ward of the Steve Biko hospital in northern Pretoria last Monday under armed guard.
The disgraced former police chief was booked into prison on December 5 to start a 15-year jail term. He was found guilty of corruption after he accepted money from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti, and showed him a British drug investigation report. Selebi was president of international policing agency Interpol at the time.
His appeal against his corruption conviction failed in the Supreme Court of Appeal on December 2. Selebi watched the judgment on television at home and collapsed when he heard the outcome.