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Selebi won’t be released on medical parole

While speculation is rife about the current state of former police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s health, and pursuant thereto the possibility of him reporting to prison to begin serving his sentence, one thing is certain at this stage, he does not, as yet, qualify for medical parole.

In terms of section 79 of the Correctional Services Act 1988 :

“Any person serving any sentence in a prison and who, based on the written evidence of the medical practitioner treating that person, is diagnosed as being in the final phase of any terminal disease or condition may be considered for placement under correctional supervision or on parole, by the Commissioner, Correctional Supervision and Parole Board or the court, as the case may be, to die a consolatory and dignified death.”

Accordingly due to the fact that it is highly unlikely that the medical information for the obtaining of medical parole is available right now, this is not an avenue available to his legal team as yet. It may well become possible to apply for medical parole down the line but the requirement that Selebi must be in the final phase of any terminal disease or condition will be carefully monitored following the Schabir Shaik debacle.

As things stand the medical report indicates that Selebi’s situation is “as a result of a long-standing condition”.

Unless that has taken a significant turn for the worse it is unlikely that medical parole will come into play in the short term.

Upon approaching the registrar of the Johannesburg High Court this morning Selebi’s legal team were advised that the court had sent an investigating officer with a warrant of arrest to the hospital where their client is recovering.

Based upon his investigation the registrar will elect whether Selebi should be sent to a prison medical centre or allow the former top cop further time to regain his strength before handing himself over.