Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Parole only for terminally ill, says judge

Medical parole was meant only for people who were terminally ill, not those suffering from lesser conditions, chairperson of the parole review board Judge Siraj Desai said on Tuesday.

”There is no elasticity in the Act in so far as it concerns medical illnesses generally,” he said in an interview on radio station Cape Talk.

Desai said he was not familiar with the contents of the medical report that the local parole board had weighed up in granting parole to fraud convict Schabir Shaik.

Nor did he want to comment on Shaik’s case, as it might come before him in his capacity as a member of the board. ”But I can say this, that your interpretation of the Act is correct,” he told presenter John Maytham. ”It’s meant for people who are terminally ill.

”The Act is very specific. It’s specific circumstances that permit a parole board to release an offender.”

Desai said, however, that the Correctional Services Act as it stood was not ideal.

There had until 2004 been provision in the law for a wider category of medical parole.

”There is absolutely no reason to detain somebody who is not a danger to society, but very ill and keep them in custody,” he said. ”I personally am of the view that the act should be amended to broaden the scope on which we can release medically unfit persons from prison.

”But the law as it stands is what we have to deal with.”

Desai said the Shaik case could come before the board only if it was referred to it by the minister or national commissioner of correctional services.

Shaik was granted medical parole and released from prison on Tuesday morning. He had served two years and four months of his 15-year prison term. — Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

South Africa’s mothballed ‘supermall-ification’ sets strip malls up for success

Analysts agree that the country has enough malls and that, post-Covid, the convenience of local centres lure customers

Mabuza’s Russian jaunts and the slippery consequences of medical tourism

For more than five years the deputy president has remained steadfast in his right to travel abroad to receive medical treatment

More top stories

Former US secretary of state Colin Powell dies aged 84

The 84-year-old died as a result of complications from Covid-19

Kunming Declaration on biodiversity: A show of political will that...

More than 100 countries pledged to better protect nature at UN biodiversity talks last week

Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine turned down over HIV concerns

The vaccine might increase the risk of vaccinated males getting HIV, says SA’s health products regulatory authority

New electronic waste management regulations will take effect in November

Producers and importers of electronic goods will be legally responsible for end-of-life management of their products from 5 November
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×