Fraud convict Schabir Shaik has been re-incarcerated at the Durban Westville Prison for 72 hours after possibly violating his parole conditions, the department of correctional services said on Monday.
Sonwabo Mbananga, spokesperson for Minister of Correctional Services Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, confirmed this to the Mail & Guardian, saying it was not an arrest but a re-incarceration.
“He was re-incarcerated this morning and has been kept at the Durban Westville prison,” said Mbananga.
He said Shaik would be behind bars for 72 hours, which is “permissible in terms of the Correctional Services Act”, and during this time an investigation would be conducted into allegations of assault against Shaik.
He said that if Shaik is found guilty of the alleged assault then he would be in violation of his parole.
Mbananga said he hoped the investigation would be concluded within 72 hours, so that recommendations can be sent to the parole board, which will decide on what action should be taken against Shaik.
“If found guilty, the parole board will decide whether to amend his parole conditions or to cancel his parole.”
The Sunday Times reported that Shaik hit a man, Mohamed Ismail, outside a mosque in Durban on Friday. He had apparently parked in the man, who was trying to get to his daughter in hospital.
The police are already investigating Shaik for allegedly choking and slapping a Sunday Tribune reporter on a golf course about two weeks ago.
In 2005 Shaik was convicted of fraud and corruption and sent to jail for 15 years. The current president, Jacob Zuma, at the time was axed as deputy president following Shaik’s conviction. Shaik was Zuma’s financial adviser.
Shaik served only two years and four months of his 15-year term. He was released on medical parole shortly before Zuma became president.
Meanwhile, opposition political parties on Monday welcomed the the action taken against Shaik.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) said the party was pleased the correctional services department was taking the matter seriously.
“These two incidents [allegations of assault] indicate that Mr Shaik is incapable of staying within the parameters of his parole conditions, and clearly does not appear to be suffering from the terminal illness that was the basis for his medical parole.
“We urge the [parole] board to take decisive action against Mr Shaik if its investigation finds him in violation of his parole. Failure to do so will cast serious doubts on the credibility of the board, the parole process, and the department of correctional services,” the DA said in a statement.
The Freedom Front Plus said Shaik’s behaviour showed he was not terminally ill and that he must go back to jail to complete his sentence.
Party spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said Shaik was an embarrassment to correctional services.
“It is high time that action is taken against Shaik … his arrogant actions show that he thinks he is above the law.”
Independent Democrats secretary general Haniff Hoosen said: “Clearly this is the end of the road for a man who has conducted himself as an ‘untouchable’ and has managed to dupe the government into believing that he was gravely ill.”
Meanwhile, the South African Policing Union (Sapu) commended the department of correctional services for its action against Shaik.
“This swift action will go a long way in terms of bringing some credibility to our criminal justice system and constitutional order,” Sapu secretary general Oscar Skommere said in a statement.