The department had received correspondence from the medical parole advisory board in which “offender Schabir Shaik ” had asked for his medical parole to be converted to ordinary parole, Masutha said in a statement. Michael Masutha, says there is no provision in the law for an application from convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik for conversion of his medical parole to ordinary parole.

The Correctional Services department said that while it had received a request for a conversion of his parole, there was currently no legal framework regulating this. Shaik, President Jacob Zuma’s former financial adviser, was found guilty of two charge of corruption and one for fraud in 2005. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison on each of two counts of corruption, as well as three years for fraud.

Shaik was granted medical parole in 2009, after serving two years and four months in jail.

Ministerial spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga yesterday said there were no legal provisions which allowed conversion of medical parole. But the DA’s correctional services spokesman James Selfe yesterday asked Masutha to publicly deny that he would grant Shaik’s application. Selfe said that by making such a request, Shaik, admits that he was, in fact, not terminal.

Shaik’s lawyers have reportedly told the board that the convicted fraudster wants to travel, and is restricted by his medical parole conditions.