Living it up: ‘Terminally ill’

Image: JacquesMaree/Twitter

Living it up: ‘Terminally ill’ golfer Schabir Shaik’s medical parole re-examined

Is Jacob Zuma going to stay behind bars, or will we see him granted a Schabir Shaik-like medical parole, giving him the opportunity to relax at his fire pool in Nkandla?

Living it up: ‘Terminally ill’

Image: JacquesMaree/Twitter

After Jacob Zuma was officially arrested on 7 July 2021, Schabir Shaik’s controversial medical parole and his lavish lifestyle has made its way back into the spotlight.

Zuma, now an inmate of the Estcourt Correctional Facility, has spent his first night in the slammer – and faces time in isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions.

But now, many are drawing comparisons between Zuma and his former financial adviser friend, Schabir Shaik, who continued to enjoy a lavish lifestyle — shopping‚ dining at fancy restaurants and playing golf — while under house arrest.

The story of Schabir Shaik

Almost 15 years ago, on 2 June 2005, Shaik was convicted of two counts of corruption and one of fraud, according to IOL. The trial, in the Durban High Court, focused on the relationship between Shaik, a businessman, and Jacob Zuma.

Judge Hilary Squires, who presided over the trial, sentenced Shaik to two terms of 15 years for corruption and one term of three years for fraud. Shaik was ultimately given a 15-year sentence and reported to jail in 2006 to start his sentence.

Medical parole and playing golf

But, only two years and four months after going to prison, in March 2009, Shaik was released on medical parole on the grounds that he was terminally ill, clinically depressed‚ losing his eyesight‚ had suffered a stroke‚ and would die from “severe” high blood pressure. He spent the time under house arrest at his home in Durban.

In 2018, a group calling itself Minorities of South Africa also said it wanted the council to investigate if the doctors had acted ethically as Shaik was frequently spotted out and about.

‘Medical miracle’

According to various articles, Shaik was frequently spotted shopping‚ dining at fancy restaurants, and playing golf.

Golf seems to be his biggest hobby, with various publications claiming that Shaik was spotted on the golf course again and again. Some called it a “medical miracle that he’s still chugging along“, although his doctor insists the right call was made back in 2009.

House arrest and living a peaceful life

In December 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa approved the release of more than 14 500 offenders on pardons and remissions to mark Reconciliation Day. Shaik, who by then had already served more than 13 years of his sentence, was among those considered. From the middle of January 2020, he effectively became a free man.

In May 2020 following the month-long Islamic fast of Ramadaan, he celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr free of house arrest.

When contacted, Shaik said: “No comment. I have no comment at all. I just want to live a quiet and peaceful life.”

Also read: Correctional cuisine: What could be on Zuma’s presidential prison platter?

What about Jacob Zuma?

It has been widely speculated that Zuma would be granted parole as soon as he was eligible, and would not be treated as a normal prisoner. For starters, it has been said if Zuma is imprisoned at the beginning of July, he will be eligible for parole in late September.

He might also be sent to the medical wing due to his age (79), as well as the need to keep him separate from “hardened criminals”.

Will Zuma be relaxing at his fire pool on medical parole?

2OceansVibe also begs the question of whether Zuma is actually going to stay behind bars, or will we see him granted a Schabir Shaik-like medical parole, where he relaxes at Nkandla – with his fire pool – for the duration of his sentence?

A sick note

In 2020, Zapiro saw it coming and sketched a ‘sick note’ from the ‘physician Schabir Shaik’ to Jacob Zuma for the following reasons: