Publication: Independent Online Issued: Durban Date: 2004-10-22 Reporter: Sapa

Security 'Problem' Delays Shaik Trial



Independent Online

Date 2004-10-22



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Some letters seized from Schabir Shaik's Nkobi group of companies appeared to have been created at Nkobi even though they were written in the name of senior figures in the African National Congress, the Shaik fraud and corruption trial heard on Friday.

Forensic auditor Johan van der Walt was in the witness box for a second day, guiding the court through more than 20 files of documents related to Nkobi, its business partners and figures targeted in a Scorpions' investigation.

He said one of these letters was written in the name of then ANC treasurer general Makhenkisi Stofile but not signed by him.

Dated May 9, 1995, it was addressed to the executive chairman of the Malaysian Renong group and indicated that Stofile would be going to Malaysia later that month and that he wanted to meet the country's prime minister and minister of defence.

Van der Walt earlier pointed out a similar unsigned letter also found on the file in the name of a senior ANC official in KwaZulu-Natal, acknowledging - on behalf of the organisation - the receipt of a dividend from Nkobi.

The court started 20 minutes later than scheduled on Friday after what prosecutor Billy Downer described as "a security problem".

The court is checked daily for explosives by sniffer dogs but on Friday an animal was still in the court when proceedings were due to start at 9.30am.

Scorpions spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said the delay was caused by sniffer dogs reacting to the same spot, but nothing was found.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Independent Online.