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20 Dec 2009 13:16
Civil rights group AfriForum on Sunday lodged a complaint with the Parole Board against convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik after he was allegedly caught on camera violating his parole conditions.
“The charge that Shaik violated his parole conditions comes after the umpteenth media report that he drives around and even does shopping at times not allowed for by his conditions of parole,” said AfriForum Deputy CEO Alana Bailey.
A Sunday newspaper reported that Shaik, who was paroled and said to be in the “final stages of a terminal illness” nine months ago, was seen visiting a Durban townhouse complex and going shopping at a supermarket.
This was not allowed by his parole conditions. Shaik’s apparent disregard for his parole conditions sent a very disconcerting message regarding the supremacy of the law in South Africa, said Bailey.
“The actions of someone who obtained parole under highly questionable circumstances should at all times remain above suspicion.
In Shaik’s case, we see exactly the opposite,” Bailey said.
She said at a time when crime was rampant and criminals appeared to show no regard for the law, it was important that strict action was taken against any person who violated parole conditions.
“This will reiterate that no-one is above the law.”
In its submission to the parole board, AfriForum emphasised that it was essential for the maintenance of the supreme authority of the law that firm action be taken against Shaik if it were to be found that he had indeed violated his parole conditions.
A copy of AfriForum’s complaint had also been sent to Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said Mapisa-Nqakula was left with no excuse not to investigate and review Shaik’s parole. “In the face of irrefutable proof, Shaik’s release on medical parole must now be re-evaluated as he is making a mockery of the parole system as a whole,” said
DA spokesman for correctional services, James Selfe. He said he had contacted the minister in that regard and would submit a formal request for the alleged non-compliance with parole conditions to be investigated.
“In terms of the Correctional Services Act, the national commissioner must investigate any alleged non-compliance. With so many instances of public gallivanting, not to investigate Shaik’s reported non-compliance would indicate political meddling and a blatant disregard for the law,” said Selfe.
The larger problem was the lack of action by the department following the reports, said Selfe, adding that in Shaik’s case there were even photographs to back up the claims.
“How much more proof does the minister need before deciding to act against (this) convicted fraudster?”
Selfe said there was “absolutely no doubt” that Shaik was released for political reasons and not on medical grounds.
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