Zuma: Calling in sick
We all remember how often a doctor’s note was our salvation at school. Some of us still use them
The former president is frustrated that people do not believe he is seriously ill and has to see out the remaining 13 months of his jail sentence at home.
Of course, things that happened on his watch might explain the widespread cynicism.
Cue Schabir Shaik, his former financial adviser, who was released on medical parole after just two years of a 15-year sentence on the grounds that he was suffering a terminal illness.
Shaik spent most of his insultingly short incarceration in private hospitals, far from the clang of jail doors and the seething despair of an SA prison.
He might have got away with it were it not for pictures of him on the golf course having the kind of good time not available to most parolees, especially those who are, in fact, dying.
Former police commissioner Jackie Selebi, on the other hand, was genuinely ill when he was sprung after serving 229 days of his 15-year sentence. He died, still free, 917 days later.
Selebi may have benefited from an amendment to the medical parole regulations — the phrase "final stages" was dropped from the boxes an applicant must tick.
Between Shaik’s middle finger to SA and the refusal by anyone in Jacob Zuma’s circle to offer any evidence as to how ill he is, is it any wonder that people know there are two laws in SA and the "nice" one is not for the rest of us.
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