Selebi’s new house rules

2012-07-21 16:54

If former police chief violates any of his parole conditions, he could be taken back to prison

Convicted fraudster and former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi faces a raft of strict parole conditions following his release on medical grounds this week.

Unannounced visits and random blood alcohol tests are just some of the conditions that are expected to be put in place to keep Selebi on a tight leash following his parole.

Correctional Services deputy commissioner James Smalberger told City Press Selebi may be subjected to unannounced visits by prison officials to test his blood alcohol levels.

The conditions, which are still being planned and discussed, are also likely to restrict his movements to the Pretoria area, where he lives, and he will also have to avoid committing any crimes.

Despite living outside prison, he will be expected to obey any orders he receives from Correctional Services officials.

His fraud conviction means that even if Selebi’s health improves and he considers looking for a job, he is disqualified from becoming a company director.

If Selebi violates any of his parole conditions – for the duration of his 15-year sentence – he could be taken back to prison, Smalberger said.

“We also include in the (proposed) conditions that if he violates the conditions or doesn’t allow correctional services officials to visit him, he will be subject to being taken back to the correctional centre.

“The conditions will be in place up until the expiry of the sentence,” said Smalberger.

Selebi was found guilty of corruption two years ago after a marathon trial, which found that he received payments from drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti over a period of time.

In return for R1.2 million and clothes for him and his family, Selebi showed underworld characters top-secret reports and attended meetings with criminals whenever Agliotti required it.

Agliotti made a plea bargain with the state in return for his testimony in Selebi’s trial.

On Friday, Correctional Services moved quickly to allay public scepticism about Selebi’s release. Medical parole has been regarded with a large degree of cynicism since convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik was released from prison only a few months into his 15-year sentence.
Shaik’s doctors insisted he was terminally ill, but the former financial adviser to President Jacob Zuma has since been spotted around Durban playing golf, shopping and generally looking quite well – which has enraged many.

The department said this week that even if Selebi’s health improved, he would not be reincarcerated.

Selebi collapsed at his Pretoria home on the day that the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld his sentence in December.

He has been guarded by prison officials since he was first admitted to Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria in February.

Smalberger said Selebi was transferred from Pretoria’s C-Max prison to Steve Biko on doctors’ advice.

“He is currently being guarded because he is still in the care of the department. He is still under the community corrections system, where the parole conditions will be agreed upon.

During the parole board sitting on Thursday, Selebi subjected himself to all the conditions that might be applicable to him,” said Smalberger.

Selebi’s wife, Anne, applied for her husband to be released on medical grounds because he is suffering from end-stage renal disease.

The department said the application forms Selebi completed were also completed by specialist doctors who confirmed his condition.

The 11 members of the department’s Medical Parole Advisory Board, which recommended his release, were not allowed to know the crime the offender committed or the sentence handed down.

Selebi’s application, said Ndebele, was among 12 other applications.

Three of these were turned down, six were approved and three died during the application process.

A senior registrar at Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr Anil Kurian, who is responsible for Selebi’s treatment, said the former commissioner was receiving three dialysis treatments per day.

“A person who has got irreversible kidney damage ends up on dialysis usually for life or until such time that they can get a kidney.

“Unfortunately, end-stage renal disease is a permanent condition for which Selebi will require dialysis for survival,” said Kurian.

One thing which will change now is that Selebi’s medical bills will no longer be footed by the state.

Steve Biko Hospital chief executive Dr Ernest Kenosi said Selebi would have to pay for his own medical costs in future, “just like any other patient”.

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