Publication: Sapa Issued: Date: 2004-10-03 Reporter: Sapa

Zuma 'Unfazed' by News on KPMG Report in Shaik Trial






Date 2004-10-03




Deputy-President Jacob Zuma is "unfazed" by media reports on Sunday that a KPMG report would show an "extensive financial relationship" between him and his financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.

"He reiterates that those who believe they have a case against him should charge him and prove it in a court of law, and stop running a mischievous smear campaign in the media," said Zuma's spokeswoman, Lakela Kaunda.

She said Zuma had continuously stated over the recent years that the allegations were "baseless and untruthful" and he would not comment on the details of the allegations as Shaik's case was before court.

Shaik would go on a corruption trial that may drag on for months in the Durban High Court from Monday next week.

The Johannesburg Sunday Times reported that Zuma's name appears on almost every page of Shaik's 45-page charge sheet.

"He (Zuma) urges all involved parties to exercise restraint and give the court space to deal with the matter," Kaunda also said.

The Sunday Times said a 250-page report from auditing firm KPMG that is to be submitted as evidence in the trial has been described as mind-blowing by those close to the investigation.

Shaik's lawyer, Reeves Parsee, told the Sunday Times: "We are not making any comments to the press about the trial. These are the instructions from my client."

Charges against Shaik include that he was corrupt because he paid Zuma more than R1,2m that was not legally due, and a second charge of corruption concerning the facilitation of a R500 000 a year bribe for Zuma.

The KPMG document is said to provide evidence that 238 payments to the tune of more than R1,2m that Zuma received from Shaik amounted to bribes.

The Sunday Times added that it was not known whether Zuma would be called as a witness but that his legal team would be in court throughout the trial.

KPMG's forensic report was expected to "blow the lid on the activities of 10 other politicians and officials who were allegedly bankrolled by Shaik in return for business favours."

With acknowledgement to Sapa.