Just how sick is Schabir Shaik?

By Drum Digital
24 March 2011

FIRST he was behind bars, then deathly ill in a prison hospital. He was "dying" at home and a few months later he was looking for trouble on the golf course. Then he was back in the prison hospital, still just as sick, and now he's back home so that, as was declared at the time of his first release, he can "die in peace".

But no one is expecting to see the obituary of convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik (54) anytime soon, even though it's been two years since he was first released from Durban- Westville Prison on medical parole amid claims of terminal illness.

And it seems Shaik is no exception – the department of correctional services has a pretty poor track record when it comes to deciding which prisoners should go home to die peaceful deaths.

Between 2007 and 2008 some 124 South African prisoners were freed due to terminal illness, but according to a departmental investigation only 36 per cent of those "fatally ill" people have died. The others, including Shaik, are very much alive.

And in the four and a half years Shaik has been "fighting for his life" no less than 987 terminally ill prisoners have died in South African jails. Not for them the opportunity to die peacefully at home.

Read the article in the Drum of 31 March 2011 – and share your views below.

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