Cape Town - Former Hard Livings gang boss Rashied Staggie has officially cut all ties with the newly formed Patriotic Alliance (PA), which he joined as an ordinary member after being placed on day parole in September last year.
As a family they had decided to withdraw from the PA, Staggie’s wife, Rashieda, said on Wednesday.
“There are no personal reasons why we are doing it, except that as a family, my husband especially feels it’s time that he focuses solely on his family.”
Flanked by her four children – Nashiefah, 22, Saadiqa, 18, Nabeelah, 19, and Emanuel 14 – and Staggie’s nephew Jason, Rashieda Staggie said the recent controversy about Staggie’s parole being revoked, was “very difficult” for the family.
“To watch him go back to prison, after spending so little time with him, just makes all of us emotional. My husband is a changed man, everyone could see it,” she said.
The PA was launched in November by ex-convict Gayton McKenzie and businessman Kenny Kunene.
Kunene confirmed that Staggiehad informed them of his decision formally to withdraw his support from the party and from politics in general.
“We fully understand what he and his family are going through. It is a difficult time for them. We have accepted his resignation as an ordinary member of the PA,” the pair said.
When asked if the family blamed the PA for Staggie’s parole being revoked, Rashieda said she was not blaming anyone.
Despite denials by the family that the political party was partly to blame for Staggie’s parole being revoked, police sources confirmed that PA members had taken Staggie to a known Mitchells Plain gang boss’s house.
Staggie apparently admitted to the parole board that he had been in Mitchells Plain.
His three daughters asked why authorities had treated their father differently to any other criminal.
They said their father had a tagging device and knew he was being followed by police. “Why would he after a decade in jail risk it?” they questioned.
Rashieda, who recently visited Staggie in jail, said that while her husband was “sad and emotional”, he had encouraged the entire family to “accept the decision”.
“When he came out it was really an overwhelming experience for us… To think that all of a sudden he had to go back to prison, it really makes me emotional,” she said.
Staggie is set to reappear before the parole board next month. His family and his close friend pastor Ivan Waldeck asked the board to give him another chance.
Waldeck said his company, Ukonwaba Investments, would have a job for Staggie if he was released on parole again.
Staggie was ordered back to Pollsmoor on December 4 after enjoying day parole from September 23.
He was sentenced in 2003 to 15 years in prison on charges of kidnapping and rape, and in 2004 he received another 13 years for gun theft from a police armoury. The sentences ran concurrently and he spent more than a decade behind bars before his release on day parole.