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Cape Town - Professor Cyril Karabus could be heading for home by the end of this week, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Tuesday.
She told the National Assembly South Africans had been working with all communities to bring Karabus safely home from the United Arab Emirates.
"I now can share with the House, that through our diplomatic efforts, the 1/8UAE medical 3/8 review committee has finally met last night 1/8Monday 3/8 and we hope for a conclusion that would be positive by the end of this week and bring professor Karabus home safely," she said.
Earlier on Tuesday, her department announced there had been a breakthrough in the Karabus matter.
Spokesman Clayson Monyela said it was understood that a UAE medical review committee had absolved Karabus from all blame.
He was convicted in absentia in the UAE on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents after the death of a three-year-old cancer patient.
He was sentenced, in absentia, to three years in jail.
Karabus, 77, is an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town and is a specialist paediatric oncologist.
Unaware of the charges and sentence, he was arrested and recharged in Dubai on August 18, while in transit on his return to South Africa from Toronto, in Canada, where he had attended his son's wedding.
Monyela confirmed the UAE court met on Tuesday and the medical review committee's report was presented to it.
"Therefore we envisage that the court is expected to deliver its final verdict on Thursday, 21 March 2013."
Deputy International Relations and Co-operation Minister Marius Fransman spoke to Karabus and his legal team on Tuesday morning.
"The South African government is pleased that the medical committee has submitted its report to the court.
"We call upon all South Africans to pray for the finalisation of the case and the safe and speedy return of Prof Karabus to South Africa," he said.
As a democratic state, South Africa respected the sovereignty and the independence of the UAE's judicial system.
"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," Monyela said. - Sapa