Press Release

28 February 2013

Deputy Minister Fransman to travel to the United Arab Emirates

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to meet with the UAE Government concerning the case of Professor Cyril Karabus.

Professor Karabus, an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and specialist pediatric oncologist, has been in detention in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates since 19 August 2012 in connection with a case dating back to 2002/2003. He is currently out on bail. 

Professor Karabus appeared in court yesterday, 27 February 2013, for the 13th time. The unavailability of the medical report of the Higher Medical Committee resulted in a further postponement of the case. The next court date is on Wednesday, 20 March 2013.

During his visit to the UAE, it is expected that Deputy Minister Fransman will reiterate the South African Government’s serious concern regarding the following issues:

  • The delays in finalising the case of Professor Karabus, due to the delay of the medical report.

  • The health of Professor Karabus, which has deteriorated in the nearly seven months since he was arrested in Dubai.

  • The potential of the case to cause damage to the existing good relationship between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, due to the negative public perceptions in South Africa about the matter.

It is also expected that the Deputy Minister will pay a courtesy visit to Professor Karabus.

It would be recalled that Deputy Minister Fransman met with the family of Professor Cyril Karabus on Thursday, 10 January 2013, in Cape Town.

During his meeting with the family of Professor Karabus, Deputy Minister Fransman briefed the family of the South African Government’s efforts to assist Professor Karabus. The Deputy Minister conveyed to the family that the South African Government is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that Professor Karabus receives a fair and just trial and that such efforts are taking place at a high level. Although it is not possible for South Africa to influence or interfere with the judicial process in another sovereign country, Deputy Minister Fransman did stress that Government will remain seized with the matter till it is concluded.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has written a letter to her UAE counterpart requesting that the UAE authorities deal with the case in an expeditious and fair manner as it is placing strain on the existing good relations between South Africa and the UAE in the field of medical cooperation.

Furthermore, the UAE Ambassador to South Africa has been summoned twice by the Department to express South Africa’s concerns on the issue. The South African Government called on the Government of the UAE to expedite the matter and to bring it to finalisation as quickly as possible.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has rendered extensive consular assistance to Professor Karabus and his family since August 2012.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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