News24

No review of Shaik case

2009-08-19 22:11

Cape Town - There will not be a review of convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik's medical parole because he was reportedly seen driving around Durban, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula insisted on Wednesday.

The minister told the National Assembly that she had no proof that Shaik had gone out in his black BMW because the only source was media reports.

"You and I don't know that. We read about it. We don't know where the car was parked," she said in response to a question from the Democratic Alliance's James Selfe.

Selfe demanded to know why she was reluctant to order a review if there were sound grounds for medical parole, which by law is granted to terminally ill convicts.

The minister said she was not sure that "terminal" meant a parolee must be confined to his home.

"I know it means dying. But if you have you a terminal disease does it mean you cannot move around? You cannot go into your car?"

'Miracle'

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille drew raucous laughter when she interjected to ask what the law would dictate if, by miracle, Shaik had made a full recovery.

"If some miracle happened and Mr Shaik is not dying and he's fit again - you have been drinking French wine and eating curry and then you recover - will he be sent back to jail because there is certainty that he did not die?"

Mapisa-Nqakula said she did not know but suggested MPs ask Parliament's portfolio committee on correctional services to review the law if they thought it was necessary.

Shaik, President Jacob Zuma's former financial adviser, 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 in a trial relating to an alleged bribe by arms company Thint.

Earlier this month, DA councillor Dean Macpherson claimed to have seen Shaik driving with his son in Durban.

Macpherson recorded a video of the car on his cellphone, but did not get footage of the driver.

Officials from the KwaZulu-Natal department of correctional services later said they had looked into the report, but Shaik told them he had not left his property that day.

The department has said that it does not see any grounds for a review, but the DA, which has repeatedly lobbied the authorities on the case without success, is seeking legal advice on whether the case is reviewable.

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