Publication: Sapa Issued: Johannesburg Date: 2005-03-08 Reporter: Sapa

Shaik Backdated Documents, Court Hears






Date 2005-03-08




Fraud and corruption accused Schabir Shaik backdated two documents to gain financial benefits from French arm company Thomson CSF, the Durban High Court heard on Tuesday.

"The backdating was a request on their side," said Shaik.

The documents related to a service provider agreement between Shaik and Thomson after the two companies won the naval corvette tender -- part of South Africa's multi-billion rand arms purchase -- through a joint shareholding in African Defence Systems.

Prosecutor Billy Downer told Shaik he was the only person who stood to benefit from the backdating.

Downer said Shaik had been pushing for "work share" from September 1999 and had trouble convincing the French to give him what he wanted.

Under the service provider agreement, Nkobi Holdings was to derive work share. Shaik said the agreement was also for Nkobi to gain financial benefits for future projects.

He said the two backdated service provider documents could have been drawn up by his financial director, Colin Isaacs.

"These documents are nothing but a sham", said Downer.

"I dispute that my Lord", said Shaik.

This cross-examination relates to count three of corruption against Shaik.

The State alleges that the service provider agreement and money received in terms thereof was part of a bribe Shaik solicited from Thomson for Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

This alleged bribe of half a million rand per year is documented in an encrypted fact.

The State said the bribe was an exchange for protection during investigation into alleged irregularities in the arms deal.

With acknowledgements to Sapa.