, JOHANNESBURG, Mar 15 – A convicted fraudster with close ties to President Jacob Zuma is back in custody after he allegedly assaulted two people while out on medical parole, South African authorities said Monday.
Schabir Shaik, Zuma\’s former financial advisor, will be kept in prison for 72 hours while officials investigate a weekend newspaper report that he hit a man outside a mosque, two weeks after he allegedly assaulted a journalist who had followed him to a golf course, a prisons spokesman said.
"We believe that the investigation will be completed before the end of 48 hours and at the end of the investigation, the report will be forwarded to the parole board, which will make a decision," Sonwabo Mbananga told the Sapa news agency.
"If found guilty, the parole board will decide whether to amend his parole conditions or to cancel his parole."
Shaik was sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption and fraud in 2005. A judge found "overwhelming evidence" that a corrupt relationship existed between Shaik and Zuma, prompting then-president Thabo Mbeki to fire Zuma as the country\’s deputy president.
Later attempts to charge Zuma were abandoned, and he was elected president in 2009 after a leadership battle with Mbeki.
Shaik was released from prison two months before Zuma\’s inauguration after prison officials ruled he was "in the final stages of a terminal illness."
But he has been accused of violating his parole in the two recent incidents of alleged assault.
A journalist with the Sunday Tribune said last month he had grabbed her by the throat and slapped her after she and a photographer followed him to a golf course.
The Sunday Times reported at the weekend that he had punched a man who wanted him to move his car in a parking lot outside a mosque.