Karabus greeted with cheers, dancing

2013-05-17 13:10
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Karabus welcomed home

See all the latest pictures as Professor Cyril Karabus sets foot on South African soil after being detained in the UAE since 18 August.

Cape Town - Loud cheers echoed through the arrivals hall of Cape Town International Airport when Cyril Karabus walked through the terminal doors just after noon on Friday.

His family, old colleagues and members of the public scrambled to see him as he emerged.

A group of Cape minstrels spontaneously broke into a jovial song, causing SA Zionist Federation members to grab hands and dance around in circles.

The 78-year-old paediatric oncologist has been detained in the United Arab Emirates since 18 August after being sentenced in absentia for the death of a Yemeni girl he treated for leukaemia in 2002.


Karabus was acquitted on 21 March, and won a subsequent appeal. His return to South Africa was delayed because he was on the UAE's database as a fugitive from justice.

Karabus then needed to get his passport back from the relevant authorities, but there were administrative delays. He received his passport on Tuesday afternoon, but his visa had the incorrect date of entry to the UAE, which would make it appear as if he had stayed in the country illegally for a period of time.

International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman would welcome Karabus at the airport. A media briefing would be held.

The group included members of the ANC's Western Cape Chris Hani volunteer initiative and the SA Medical Association.

One of the volunteers, Constance Adams, 42, said she and other members of the community workers' programme in Manenberg only recently heard about the professor's plight.

They came to the airport to support his release, but also out of curiosity.

Ben and Idafey Mervis, aged 69 and 61, said they used to work with Karabus at the Red Cross Children's Hospital. Idafey was a young radiographer in the nuclear medicine department at the time.

"He's exactly like the media have said he is. He's got a real strength of character," she said.


- Were you there? Send us your photos.

Read more on:    cyril karabus  |  cape town

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