I’m no Selebi, says Shaik

2012-07-27 00:00

DURBAN — Schabir Shaik, President Jacob Zuma’s former financial advisor who was jailed for corruption, said critics were making a unfair comparison between the medical parole granted to him and that of Jackie Selebi.

Political parties and members of the public are saying it is no surprise that former police chief Selebi — who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption — is receiving “preferential treatment” from the ANC government.

Selebi’s release on medical parole due to “terminal-stage kidney failure” was announced last Friday.

He had served only 229 days of his sentence.

Shaik was released in 2009 after he had served two years and four months of his sentence, but had spent most of that time in private or prison hospitals.

Medical parole was granted to Shaik due to “terminal illness”.

Family members said at the time that chronic hypertension was affecting his kidneys, brain and eyesight. Medical parole legislation was changed after Shaik’s controversial release.

“Each case has to be judged on its own medical merit,” a bespectacled Shaik told sister newspaper Beeld yesterday outside Fruit & Veg City in the Durban suburb of Essenwood where he had gone to buy fruit in his BMW.

He said that while he was not familiar with Selebi’s case, he was “sure” that their medical conditions were different.

Shaik said he wished Selebi a good recovery.

Shaik said he was trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay fit, pay attention to his diet and manage his condition better with medication.

“I have lost a lot of weight … It also helps that I am no longer a businessman, because now I have less stress.”

Besides resting at home he wasn’t “doing much” these days, said Shaik.

His conduct during his parole has twice been investigated by the Department of Correctional Services.

At the end of 2009 he violated his parole conditions by going shopping during an unauthorised time.

Last year allegations were investigated that he had assaulted another man at a mosque.

However, nothing came of that, since the man would not participate in the Correctional Services investigation.

Shaik said the fruit he bought yesterday was destined for the many elderly people who spent hours in queues waiting to be treated at Addington Hospital.

He said he took people something to eat every Thursday and tried to cheer them up by chatting to them.

“It also does me good,” said Shaik.

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