Publication: Cape Times Issued: Date: 2005-03-15 Reporter: Estelle Ellis

Zuma Failed to Declare His Liabilities for Year 2000



Cape Times




Estelle Ellis

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'An oversight' court told

Until yesterday, Deputy President Jacob Zuma had not declared his liabilities for the year 2000 *1 to the cabinet. Zuma's state legal adviser Linda Makatini admitted this in the high court here yesterday, but said this was due to an oversight.

She told the court that Zuma's declarations for every year subsequent *1 to that were in order, including what he owed his financial adviser Schabir Shaik.

Shaik has pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption and fraud.

The court also heard that Zuma had asked Makatini to travel to France to see if she could not sort out a problem with an encrypted fax - at the heart of the state's case against Shaik - while they were on an official visit to Madrid.

This was after the Scorpions had discovered there was an encrypted fax, written by French arms company Thomson's executive Alain Thetard, which set out an alleged bribe agreement between Shaik, Zuma and Thomson.

Makatini said her schedule had been such that she could not make the trip to France.

Makatini told the court that in 1999 she had sight of a revolving credit agreement concluded between Shaik and Zuma. She had encountered the document when sorting through papers Zuma had brought from KwaZulu Natal "in briefcases".

But it was only a copy, Makatini pointed out.

"I was asked to look for the original during the trial. I looked for it. I could not find it."

"You never said the original was filed with cabinet?" Judge Squires asked her.

"No," Makatini answered.

Shaik earlier said in his evidence that Zuma had asked him if he (Zuma) could keep the original, as he had to file it with the appropriate people in cabinet.

The court also heard that to this day, Zuma had not declared his liabilities to cabinet for the year 2000.

Makatini said the first time she had to declare Zuma's liabilities to cabinet, he had given her a list of his creditors. Shaik was one of them.

Shaik had told her to speak to the financial director of the Nkobi group of companies, Colin Isaacs, who told her Zuma owed Shaik R1.5 million.

"The first declaration I did was in 2001. We contacted Colin Isaacs. I sat with him. He gave me a figure," Makatini said.

The trial has been adjourned to April 4.

With acknowledgements to Estelle Ellis and Cape Times.

*1 Because 2000 was the year that the investigation by the DSO stated.