Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2004-10-13 Reporter: Tisha Steyn Reporter: Sapa

Shaik Legal Fees 'Not True'




Date 2004-10-13


Tisha Steyn, Sapa

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Johannesburg - The General Council of the Bar of South Africa on Wednesday denied a media report that the lawyer representing Schabir Shaik at his fraud and corruption trial was earning R25 000 a day.

Council chair Norman Arendse said in a media release that according to the report Shaik's senior counsel Francois van Zyl earned R25 000 per trial day with instructing attorney Reaves Parsee charging R5445 per day.

Arendse said the same figure of R25 000 per trial day was later used to estimate the likely charges of advocates Kessie Naidoo and Guido Penzhorn.

"Speculation in respect of professional charges based on bald assumptions is always dangerous and often misleading. In the present matter the estimation of the fee associated with the services of advocate Van Zyl SC, albeit for illustrative purposes, is totally unfounded."

Arendse said Van Zyl and Penzhorn had confirmed to the council that the fees which they were currently charging to defend Shaik "do not remotely resemble the estimated sum".

He said advocates were entitled to charge a reasonable fee for their services according to the case and their experience, and the reasonableness of the fees could not be gauged without a "full appreciation of all the facts".

With acknowledgements to Tisha Steyn, Sapa and News24.