‘I want my f*%#@!! pardon’

2009-12-19 16:21

“TERMINALLY ill” fraudster Schabir Shaik violated his parole this week and for the first time since his release on medical parole was caught on camera.

He appears to have made a remarkable recovery in the nine months since he was described as being in the “final stages of a terminal illness” and granted medical parole.

This week he snuck out of his Durban mansion in his new jet-black BMW X6 to visit an upmarket townhouse complex, go shopping and even mustered up enough strength to pursue a City Press photographer while shouting: “Jou ma se p***s”.

He wanted his “f**ing pardon” and he wanted it now, he said.

Despite a host of sightings Shaik has managed to avoid being photographed. The Department of Correctional Services has said it would only act if it was provided with a formal complaint and proof that Shaik has broken his parole.

On March 3 this year Shaik was carried into his Innes Road home on a stretcher after serving just two years and four months of a 15-year prison term for corruption and fraud relating to illicit financial dealings with President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thint. The same day the then minister of correctional services, Ngconde Balfour, said in a statement that Shaik was “in the final phase of his terminal condition” and that legislation provided he be paroled to “die a dignified death”.

On Tuesday morning, wearing sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat and accompanied by a woman, Shaik drove to The Essenwoods townhouse complex in Stephen Dlamini Road (formerly Essenwood Road). He returned home that afternoon, pulling into his driveway at 1.24pm. A City Press reporter stopped next to Shaik’s BMW, registration ND 554-390, at the intersection of Stephen Dlamini and Springfield roads and could clearly identify him sitting in the driver’s seat.

On Wednesday morning he popped into his local Spar in Florida Road. Wearing baggy shorts, sandals, sunglasses and a golf cap perched jauntily on his head, he emerged at 9.27am with two cartons of milk and some magazines.

He spotted photographer Felix Dlangamandla sitting in a parked car outside the main entrance, lunged towards him and struck the vehicle with a milk carton.

Shaik shouted: “Jou ma se p**s!” Then he quickly crossed the road and sped off around the corner as a security guard looked on aghast.

This week he denied visiting The Essenwoods on Tuesday.

He did admit visiting the Spar – which was where he was photographed on Wednesday – but said he had asked his parole officer for permission to fetch medication at a nearby pharmacy. He claimed to have stopped at Spar to buy milk after getting his medicine but a City Press team that followed him did not see him go anywhere else except the Spar nor did he have a medicine packet in his hands when he left.

He suggested that reporters “following me around” could “possibly get f****d up”.

A correctional services spokesman is on record as saying that Shaik’s parole conditions allow him to leave home only on Fridays to attend mosque and on Saturdays between 12pm and 4pm.

But in answer to questions posed by the DA in Parliament the ministry of correctional services said Shaik was only allowed to leave his home between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Wednesdays for physiotherapy.

Any deviations from his parole conditions must first be approved by correctional services..

In May Shaik’s brother, Yunis, told reporters that he was “gravely ill”. He said his brother “never leaves the house” and “his condition cannot improve because there was permanent damage to him”.

In another interview at the time Yunis said “Schabir’s heart is enlarged, his kidneys and brain have been badly affected and he has lost about 50% of his sight. My understanding is that my brother is in what doctors call the ‘final stage’ of a physical shut-down.”

Despite his ailing condition the database of the Companies and Intellectual Properties Registration Office indicates that Shaik and Durban businessman Raymond Horne managed to register a close corporation, Wethersfield Trading CC, on May 25 this year. Shaik’s contribution to the CC is 50%. The exact nature of its business is unclear.

By law anyone convicted of fraud or corruption and sentenced to imprisonment of at least six months without the option of a fine is disqualified from taking part directly or indirectly in the management of a CC.

Shaik said Horne was his “security adviser” but he claimed to have no knowledge of the CC. “I wonder what that is about. Maybe it has something to do with the lesser assets I have. I might have a partner who is a director of the company to manage whatever assets I have left,” he said.

One place Shaik seems to be avoiding is the restaurant Spiga d’Oro, his favourite haunt in Florida Road. But a dish named in his honour, Linguine a la Shaik – a simple Arrabiata with a hint of chilli – is popular with diners and the occasional Shaik-spotter hoping for a glimpse of the “dead man walking”.  

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