22 April 2013
Media Statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Marius Fransman, on the case of Prof. Cyril Karabus, City Lodge, OR Tambo International Airport
The South African Government will closely monitor the court proceedings in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, 23 April 2013, where Professor Cyril Karabus will appear in court for the second time in the appeal case.
Prof. Karabus is an emeritus Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and specialist paediatric oncologist.
The appeal was lodged* by the prosecution after the Court cleared Prof Karabus on all charges of manslaughter and forgery brought against him after the unfortunate death of a young cancer patient he treated in Abu Dhabi 11 years ago.
As government, we have repeatedly expressed our grave concern with the anxiety and trauma that the 78 year-old Prof Karabus and his family have been subjected to as a result of the continued postponements that have characterised this case.
The Government of South Africa has since the beginning of this ordeal remained seized with this matter and provided extensive consular assistance Prof Karabus and his family. The South African Embassy staff in Abu Dhabi regularly visit and call Prof Karabus. We are also in regular telephonic contact with his family. Our embassy staff has attended all court hearings and continues to do so.
Over the past few months, we have taken several actions to ensure a speedy resolution of the case. These include, but are not limited to, interaction between the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE.
I have also personally travelled to Abu Dhabi on 03 March 2013 and to Dubai on 17March 2013 for engagements with the UAE authorities regarding the case. On the first occasion, I met with Prof Karabus and his Legal team.
We are hopeful that tomorrow’s hearing will not culminate in a further postponement. It is time for Prof Karabus to be re-united with his family in South Africa after a prolonged trial.
All around the world, the medical fraternity is united in their opposition to what is perceived as the unfair and unjust treatment of Professor Karabus. This is demonstrated by the growing groundswell of opinion advising against the continued presence of international medical practitioners in the UAE where they are doing valuable and highly specialised work in providing medical care to the population of the UAE.
The South African Government trusts that justice and fairness will prevail in this appeal case just as it has prevailed when the court cleared Prof Karabus of all charges on 21 March 2013.
As a democratic state, South Africa respects the sovereignty and independence of the judicial system of the UAE. We wish to thank the Government of the UAE and, in particular, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of State for the manner in which we have engaged on this matter.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ANDCOOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road