Credibility of law at stake

Schabir Shaik is in the news again as an obscure so-called prisoners' rights outfit lobbies for his release from prison.

Schabir Shaik is in the news again as an obscure so-called prisoners' rights outfit lobbies for his release from prison.

Lest we forget, Shaik has been convicted of fraud and corruption. Pretty serious stuff.

But there are people who continue to rally to his side.

The "lobby group" wants him released from jail on humanitarian grounds. It says that fear of serving his jail term has traumatised him to the extent that he might die if he is forced to serve his term.

The latest bid to free Shaik has absolutely no credibility. It is nothing more than the work of a brilliant prankster with a fax machine.

Shaik was convicted in a free and fair trial that took many months. The government has seized his ill-gotten profits.

It would be a mistake to acquiesce to such pleas - even if they came from more credible voices.

Releasing Shaik would be a travesty of justice and would give credence to the view that the rich do not pay for their crimes.

As it is, the justice system is riddled with inconsistencies: murderers are fined, coup plotters are deported, and the Shaiks and Yengenis live like royalty in prison.

We urge the government to tread carefully.

South Africans are buckling under a high crime rate. It would be the height of folly to let this man escape his just desserts.

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