Selebi released on medical parole

Friday, July 20, 2012

Selebi was sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption and defeating the ends of justice. He was serving his sentence at the Pretoria C-Max Prison.

Since his incarceration, Selebi has been in and out of hospital due to ill health. He is believed to suffer from diabetes and kidney disease.

Announcing the release in Pretoria, Ndebele said the department received 12 applications from offenders who wanted to be considered for medical parole.

Three of the applicants died while their applications were being looked at and the other three were not recommended for parole. The other six offenders were recommended for medical parole and of these, two have been released. Ndebele said the other applicant will be released next week.

"These offenders who have applied for medical parole were recommended for release on medical parole due to the fact that their conditions met the criteria as stipulated in the Act and the regulations," Ndebele said.

He explained that these include all those who suffered from a medical condition which is terminal, chronic, progressive and has deteriorated permanently or reached an irreversible state.

Ndebele said the department had limited capacity to provide palliative care to this category of offenders, and remand detainees, and would facilitate the provisioning of palliative care in collaboration with external service providers.

With regard to the release on medical parole, Ndebele said there was a need for the previous legislation to be reviewed.

He explained that the revised Act makes provision for the sentenced offender to be released or considered for placement on medical parole if the offender is suffering from a terminal illness or condition or if the offender is rendered physically incapacitated.

The Act allows for any legal applicant to complete the prescribed medical application form for the terminally ill offender.

According to the Correctional Services Medical Parole Board chairperson Dr Victor Ramathesele, Selebi has been in hospital since February this year.

Selebi's condition deteriorated and according to the parole board members, nothing much can be done to improve his condition.

At the moment, Selebi is receiving treatment at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

The hospital's Chief Executive Officer Dr Ernest Kenoshi said Selebi would be released from hospital after his condition had been assessed.

"Selebi is like any patient at the hospital and he is not receiving any special treatment," he said.

After his release from hospital, it is said Selebi will be responsible for his own medical treatment.

Selebi's wife made the application to the parole board on his behalf.