Equality before the law just a hollow dictum

While controversy rages over whether Schabir Shaik should be home or behind bars - I remain bothered, bewildered and bemused by something: why has this incredibly wealthy champion of the disadvantaged (whose money and "contacts" obviously played a major role in putting him back in the lap of luxury) not issued a statement appealing to the authorities to be equally lenient to the many poor prisoners who are probably just as "terminally ill" as he is but continue languishing in jail?

It would have been a welcome gesture from a person who is supposed to have been a champion of the underdog. However, one possible reason for this disregard for his fellow "terminally ill" prisoners is that ill Schabir spent an abnormally long time in the comfort of a hospital instead of a cell.

He actually does not have a clue of what it's like to be gravely ill while "locked up."

It would also have been "nice" to hear another voice in support of the penniless, terminally ill prisoners who are struggling for parole: the voice of Schabir's friend, Jacob Zuma. In an interview Zuma indicated that if he became president while Shaik was in prison he would give personal attention to his friend's plight.

Is "all are equal before the law" just a hollow, meaningless dictum? And the entire nation shouted: "YES IT IS!"

Cliff Saunders, Northcliff