/ 15 March 2011

Shaik placed in prison’s hospital wing

Shaik Placed In Prison's Hospital Wing

A “shell-shocked” Schabir Shaik has been placed in the hospital wing of the Westville Prison in Durban while he awaits the outcome of a probe into allegations of assault and parole violations, IOLnews reported on Tuesday.

“He is lying isolated in the hospital section of the prison,” his lawyer, Reeves Parsee, was quoted saying.

“Schabir Shaik is confused and saddened at his arrest, which appears to be based on allegations in the media. There’s no evidence that he has violated his parole conditions, or proof of the allegations being levelled against him.”

Prison officials interviewed Shaik at his Morningside home, then took him to Westville Prison in a correctional services car on Monday.

‘Investigative purposes’
Parsee told the media group’s Daily News that he had not been provided with any documentary evidence or factual basis for the arrest.

“All I have been told is that my client has been arrested for investigative purposes, nothing else. I understand that he will appear before the parole board within 48 hours to hear the basis of his arrest.

“However, we are concerned at his sudden arrest soon after media reports of his alleged altercation with someone — and are even more concerned that reasons for his arrest have not been substantiated.

“We are looking to see if the arrest was lawfully permissible, given the circumstances,” Parsee said.

Shortly before being whisked off to prison, an upset Shaik phoned the Daily News and said: “They are arresting me based on the Sunday Times report that I assaulted someone. They wouldn’t even listen to me or contact the three witnesses that have come forward.”

On Monday, it was reported that three witnesses to the scuffle in the car park of the Masjid Al-Hilal Mosque in Overport told a different story to that of worshipper Mohamed Ismail (42), who was involved in a parking altercation with Shaik.

Charge of assault
They claimed Shaik had not been the aggressor, and had not punched Ismail, as Ismail had told the Sunday Times. Shaik’s Jeep apparently blocked Ismail’s exit, delaying Ismail’s departure to hospital to be at his daughter’s bedside.

Shaik recently had an alleged scuffle with Sunday Tribune journalist Amanda Khoza on a golf course. She laid a charge of assault against him, alleging he slapped her.

In an interview at the weekend, Shaik said he was taking a cocktail of medications to control his health, including his blood pressure and heart problems, adding he risked going blind.

Asked if he was terminally ill, Shaik replied: “Terminally ill does not imply I am in a hospice or that I am about to drop dead today. I may have serious health issues, but it does not mean I am incapacitated and incapable of playing golf in my free time.”

Shaik was released on parole in 2009 after serving just over two years of a 15-year prison sentence for corruption and fraud following a probe into South Africa’s arms deal. — Sapa