Publication: Sapa Issued: Durban Date: 2005-04-26 Reporter: Wendy Jasson da Costa Reporter:

Dealings between Shaik, Zuma Again Highlighted









Wendy Jasson da Costa


The financial dealings between fraud and corruption accused Schabir Shaik and Deputy President Jacob Zuma were again highlighted in the Durban High Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Billy Downer said: "At the very least Shaik must have foreseen that the payments would place Zuma in a position whereby he would not be objective."

Downer said Zuma had contravened his duties as a public servant and as "a rising man" by accepting money from Shaik, his friend and financial advisor.

He said Zuma should have said: "No, no Mr Shaik, we can't do that. It's going to land us both in trouble."

He questioned why Shaik was prepared to risk his company to make payments to Zuma, saying it was because "it made sense for his prospects in business".

According to Downer, Shaik originally intended that Zuma and the African National Congress be shareholders in his company, Nkobi Holdings. However he said when the ANC told Shaik it could not be institutionalised, Shaik was forced to change the structure of the company.

The prosecution also dealt with the Point Waterfront development project, saying Shaik was upset when the Malaysian group, Renong, whom he had introduced to the project, did not include his company as an equity shareholder.

Downer's assistant, Anton Steynberg, said according to Shaik he was excluded from the project because of negative remarks by former president Nelson Mandela's former lawyer, Ismail Ayob.

He apparently told Renong that Shaik had misrepresented the interests of the ANC in Malaysia and South Africa.

This was one of the occasions when Shaik called on Zuma to intervene on his behalf so that Renong would include his company as a stakeholder in the project.

The closing arguments of the state are expected to last until Thursday.

With acknowledgements to Wendy Jasson da Costa and Sapa.