Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2003-09-02 Reporter: Chantelle Benjamin

Shaik's Lawyers to Drop Legal Challenge



Business Day

Date 2003-09-02


Chantelle Benjamin

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The constitutionality of section 28 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, which compels people to answer questions from the Scorpions, will remain unchallenged after Schabir Shaik's legal team indicated that it might not pursue the matter in the Constitutional Court.

The matter arose after Shaik's lawyer, Reeves Parsee, contended that the Scorpions could not compel his client to answer questions relating to bribery allegations against Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

An attempt by Shaik in the Durban High Court to avoid answering the questions, on the grounds that being forced to do so would be unconstitutional, failed.

At that time he was only a suspect and had not been formally charged.

Parsee said that because of the Scorpions' decision to prosecute Shaik and his arrest last Monday in Durban, Shaik could not be compelled to answer the questions to avoid incriminating himself.

Shaik, who faces charges of corruption, fraud, theft of company assets, tax evasion, reckless trading and money laundering, was released on R1 000 bail after handing himself over to the unit.

Parsee said the appeal in the Constitutional Court was likely to go ahead, but with regard to who should pay the trial costs, and not the constitutionality of section 28.

Shaik is expected to appear in court on October 3.

With acknowledgements to Chantelle Benjamin and the Business Day.