Selebi, Shaik benefit from remission

2012-04-28 14:22

Former Police Chief Jackie Selebi and former financial adviser to President Jacob Zuma, Schabir Shaik, will benefit from a special remission of sentences announced on Freedom Day.

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said today both men qualified for an 18-month remission of their sentences. She said they were part of thousands who will be released early.

“Obviously, they will benefit like all other inmates but there is no special amnesty or pardoning of Schabir Shaik and Jackie Selebi,” the minister said, according to SABC radio news.

In 2005, the Durban High Court sentenced Shaik to 15 years in prison for fraud and corruption. His sentence effectively ends in 2021.

In March 2009, Shaik was released on medical parole after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. He served two years and four months of his sentence.

Selebi was convicted of corruption on 2 July 2010, and handed a 15-year sentence. Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj, and justice ministry spokesperson Tlali Tlali referred all enquiries to Correctional Services spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said more than 35 000 offenders could be released (depending on an assessment) on a special remission of sentence, as announced by President Jacob Zuma.

“The special remission...will see all sentenced inmates, probationers and parolees granted a six month remission of sentence and an additional 12 months,” he told a media briefing in Pretoria. “This will reduce the level of overcrowding in Correctional Centres from 34% to approximately 20%.”

“The completion of a compulsory pre-release assessment and attendance of the programme is a prerequisite before the conditional or unconditional release of offenders can take place,” explained Mthethwa. Offenders who qualify will only be released from May 14 this year in “controllable groups”.

Those sentenced for aggressive, sexual, firearm and drug related offences would not qualify for the special remission.

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