Zuma surprises Shaik

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma recently paid a surprise visit to convicted fraudster, Schabir Shaik, for the first time since Shaik's conviction last year.

The private meeting, which lasted more than 30 minutes, took place late last month with no prison warders allowed to be present, even within ear-shot.

Inmates have also said that "Shaik is a big dog", who never associates with his fellow inmates.

Shaik, a Durban businessman and Zuma's former financial adviser, was convicted of fraud and corruption in November.

Though being sentenced to 15 years in jail, Shaik had until last month never spent a single night in a cell, but instead been kept in both a private and prison hospital.

However, last month national Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour finally ordered that Shaik be returned to the prison hospital.