The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday again urged Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to review fraud convict Schabir Shaik’s medical parole.
DA spokesperson James Selfe said this was in view of the Correctional Services Department’s “reluctance to answer any further questions” on Shaik’s medical parole.
In a letter to Mapisa-Nqakula, Selfe said the minister’s spokesperson, Sonwaba Mbananga, was quoted in the media on the weekend as saying the department would no longer answer questions on this matter, stating “there has been enough communication regarding the Shaik issue. We have other work to do. The department is done communicating about this.”
Read the Mail & Guardian report, “Shaik’s medical miracle”
Selfe said this was a most unhelpful attitude.
The public was still in the dark about whether this matter would be reviewed, and these issues most certainly had not been communicated.
There were two main reasons why Shaik’s parole should be reviewed by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board.
Firstly, it was in the best interests of the public, given the number of reported irregularities that had emerged regarding Shaik’s release, and secondly, because it affected the credibility of the parole system as a whole.
“The only way that this matter can be put to rest is for it to be reviewed.
“If there is nothing untoward about Mr Shaik’s parole, then the minister has nothing to lose and everything to gain by sending it for review,” Selfe said.
After some controversy, the South African Broadcasting Corporation last week reported that the Presidency had confirmed receiving an application for a presidential pardon from Shaik.
The application is one of more than 300 currently before President Jacob Zuma, according to a report on the broadcaster’s website.
Zuma’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said the president did not mean to mislead the public during a television interview when he said Shaik had not applied. Zuma had meant to say he could not comment as he has not yet seen the application.
While it did not normally discuss individual cases because of confidentiality, the Presidency would, because of the public interest in the matter, confirm that Shaik had applied.
Zuma had not yet had the opportunity to look at any of the 300 applications.
The SABC said Zuma was not bound by any deadlines and would consider the applications when he chose to. — Sapa