Schabir Shaik thanked Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday for being “finally free”.
Shaik, convicted fraudster and ex-pres. Jacob Zuma’s financial advisor has been in house arrest from March 2009 until February this year because he is alleged to be terminally ill. He celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr again as a free man earlier this month after the month-long Ramadan.
He was jailed for 15 years in 2005 for fraud and corruption for his share in the arms scandal. He served two years and four months before parole was granted to him.
He has now been cleared of the rest of his sentence after Ramaphosa pardoned 14,500 offenders in December as part of Reconciliation Day celebrations.
Shaik spoke the words of Rev. Martin Luther King used and said, “Free at last, I am free at last, thank God I am free at last.”
He thanked Ramaphosa and said he was grateful and relieved that he was eligible.
“Now I can return to a normal life. I’m going to try to lead a life of simplicity, ”he says.
“Integration after 15 years is not easy. The mental retardation is worse than the physical retardation. It took its toll. But I am very grateful. That’s all I can say – and I feel blessed. “