sHAIK STRETCHERED INTO FAMILY HOME
Mary Papayya and Mhlaba Memela
Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik arrived at his Durban home yesterday morning shortly after his release from Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital also ended his jail term at Westville Prison.
The Department of Correctional Services yesterday said Shaik had been released on "medical parole".
It is widely understood that a convicted prisoner is only granted medical parole when he is "terminally ill".
In their statement, Correctional Services said it had "requested a written report from the parole board to study and see if procedures have been followed appropriately in arriving at the decision".
No details of Shaik's medical condition were revealed.
Shaik, who was Jacob Zuma's former financial adviser - when the ANC president was deputy president of the country - served two years and four months of his 15-year term for fraud and corruption involving Zuma. He spend most of that time in hospital due to "high blood pressure, depression and chest pains".
Yesterday, eye-witnesses said a CityMed ambulance pulled into the driveway of Shaik's plush Morningside home and an "ailing" Shaik, covered in a blanket, was wheeled through his front door on a stretcher.
His brother, Mo Shaik, who was a key lobbyist for his brother's early parole, said: "My brother has been home for over three hours and we are taking care of his medical needs. We are relieved that our wait is over and that he can be with us."
He went to great lengths to explain that the decision for parole "was a totally independent one from the parole board".
"If you have questions about the terms of his release you would have to speak to the Department of Correctional Services. We have no details of the conditions for his release."
He said his brother was seriously ill. "He is not well but we believe that him being with us, we will be able to help him get a little better."
Asked whether the Shaik family viewed their brother as a political scapegoat, Mo Shaik said: "All that is behind us now and we want to look forward to the future."
All yesterday morning, family and friends gathered at Schabir Shaik's home to welcome him.
Outside the luxury mansion curious onlookers also gathered, together with a large media contingent.
Yunis Shaik eventually came out to address the press: "My brother is gravely ill and there is no way that he can be seen walking outside."