‘Schabir Shaik’s condition still considered terminal’

Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in jail after being convicted of paying President Jacob Zuma a bribe.

Durban businessman Schabir Shaik arrives at the Durban High Court on Friday 29 July 2005 to hear if his application for leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence will be granted.Judge Hilary Squires, who last month found Shaik guilty of fraud and corruption, will announce his findings today. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha says the condition of President Jacob Zuma’s former financial advisor Schabir Shaik is still considered to be terminal, more than eight years after he was released on medical parole.

In a written reply to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA), Masutha says that Shaik’s health was last checked before his release in March 2009.

It formed the basis for the controversial decision to release him from prison under house arrest in March 2009.

Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in jail after being convicted of paying Zuma a bribe.

He was later released, on the grounds that he was near death.

Masutha says the convicted fraudster is still deemed to be terminally ill.

The conditions of Shaik’s house arrest under medical parole were relaxed in April 2015 on the grounds of good behaviour.

Soon afterwards Shaik made headlines after he was alleged to have headbutted and verbally abused a reporter who approached him for a comment.

Masutha says Shaik has strictly complied with the conditions of his medical parole, which allows him to attend his son’s school events, work and spend time on a sport, although he must ask for permission if he wants to leave his home province.

‘THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS’

The DA has slammed the fact that Shaik is still deemed to be terminally ill, more than eight years after his release on medical parole.

DA MP James Selfe, who asked the question, says it’s outrageous.

“The DA is appalled and angered by the fact that Shaik, who was unlawfully released on medical parole, is still classified as terminally ill despite the fact that his parole conditions made provision for him to play sport once a week. So, presumably to lower his golf handicap.”

Selfe says action should be taken against those responsible for granting Shaik medical parole in the first place.

“This is preposterous and it’s time for the Department of Correctional Services to finally resolve this issue - to hold those who released him unlawfully accountable and to regularise his position as an ordinary parolee under much more severe conditions.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)