Of public interest

The belief by Schabir Shaik's family and supporters that the media is being unfair on their brother by asking questions about his early release from prison is more than slightly disingenuous.

The belief by Schabir Shaik's family and supporters that the media is being unfair on their brother by asking questions about his early release from prison is more than slightly disingenuous.

Whoever is the Shaik family media strategist would have told them to expect this flurry. That person probably told them to remain stoic because, like everything else, the story will blow over and another matter for discussion will come up.

They should have been told that it is silly of them to believe that the release would have been treated like that of any other prisoner in the country. Shaik was jailed for what in the opinion of a high court judge was bribing the man who is set to be the next president.

That said, it is wrong for the media, or anybody else, to jump to conclusions when they do not have all the facts. Shaik does not need to have to die to prove that his case was correctly handled. But for as long as there are no clear answers, the questions surrounding his release from prison - if it can be dubbed such given that he had spent virtually all his confinement at a public hospital - the media and the public are entitled to their cynicism.

It can never be wrong for the media to ask the tough and at times embarrassing questions. This is its main function.

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