What is learned from Jackie Selebi’s Medical Parole

Former South African Police Services chief, Jackie Selebi, was granted medical parole today . He was convicted of corruption in July 2010, and was given a 15 year prison sentence.

However, most of his prison term was spent in hosiptal, and he is now diagnosed to have end-state renal disease as a result of Diabetes mellitus.

While it is (rather sadly) very clear that Jackie Selebi satisfies the conditions of medical parole, it once again calls into question the ANC’s usage of state organs to help its comrades. The reason for this is that another comrade, Schabir Shaik, was also convicted of corruption and sentenced to 15 years. However, he too was granted medical parole as a result of terminal illness. However, since his release in 2008, he has shown no signs of his disease, and he has even enjoyed relaxed parole conditions, and a reduction in sentence under the President’s latest remission of sentence announcement.

With Jackie Selebi’s medical parole, it brings the ANC’s goal of circumventing the judiciary into the spotlight. We must remember that when Schabir Shaik was granted medical parole in 2008, it was said that he had 4-6 months to live. Now, he enjoys playing golf, visiting shopping malls and other freedoms that law-abiding citizens have. 

This shows that while the ANC preaches a clampdown on corruption, it practises underhanded tactics at getting high-profile members reduced sentences, should it fail to control the judicial process. This tendency undermines the very fabric of our hard-fought democracy, it shows that the ANC has no respect for the courts, or the rule of law. While they will not admit so in public, it is clear that the ANC is hell-bent on undermining the constitution they themselves helped to build.

It is my hope that with this latest case of high-profile medical parole, we do not see yet another case of a comrade playing golf at the taxpayer’s expense.

 

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