DA wants answers on Schabir Shaik
Cape Town - Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula needs to appear before parliament's correctional services portfolio committee regarding Schabir Shaik, the Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.
This was so that the committee could iron out a number of anomalies in the handling of Shaik's two alleged assaults on members of the public, DA spokesman James Selfe said.
"We welcome and endorse the fact that the department of correctional services undertook to investigate the two alleged incidents involving Mr Shaik while he was out on medical parole.
"We believe that in detaining Mr Shaik while the investigation took place, the department took entirely the right course of action," he said.
It was now necessary to establish why the department said the allegations of assault levelled at Shaik could not be corroborated.
In both cases, witnesses were on hand when the alleged assaults took place.
At the most recent incident, at a Durban mosque, accounts suggested dozens of witnesses would have seen the incident.
Even if Mr Ismail, the alleged victim, was unwilling to cooperate with the investigation, the department ought to have conducted further interviews with other witnesses, and it was necessary to establish if these took place, he said.
"We also understand that the Sunday Tribune journalist, who was allegedly assaulted by Mr Shaik, was interviewed by the department.
"In light of all this, the statement by the correction services department's regional commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele, that the department could not assert whether the assault did or did not happen, requires further justification."
It might be the case that the department had acted entirely in good faith throughout this process, but the minister's presence before the committee would help to clear up these discrepancies, and address the impression that the outcome of this investigation might have been a foregone conclusion, Selfe said.