'Zuma Lived Beyond Means'
The payments were frequent, sometimes as many as three a month.
There were 238 in all, with an average amount of more than R5 000.
They were used to pay for clothing at top-notch stores, school fees at posh schools and for fancy cars.
These are the payments Schabir Shaik and his Nkobi group of companies made to and on behalf of Deputy President Jacob Zuma which, the State alleges, were pay-offs for business influence.
Shaik admits making most of the payments, but denies the corruption charge, saying they were done out of friendship.
This morning forensic auditor Johan van der Walt, began the final wrap of his 250-page audit report into Shaik and Zuma's financial affairs, giving a breakdown of exactly how much was paid, when it was paid and to whom.
He said the first payment of R3 500 was made in December 1995, followed by R2 500 the following year. From then on, the payments increased in amounts and frequency until they reached R1,269 million by December 2002.
Yesterday, van der Walt testified that Zuma had been living way beyond his means.
An analysis of bank accounts, he told Durban High Court Judge Hilary Squires, revealed that from July 1996 until December 2003, Zuma had an income of R3,8m - R2,7m being his salary.
And yet he spent R4,294m mostly on "personal expenses".
"As a result, he was reliant on increased overdraft facilities to fund the shortfall."
van der Walt testified that:
Repeatedly, Shaik and his companies bailed him out. It is evident from van der Walt's report before the court that neither of the men were financially flush.
Evidence has been that Shaik and his Nkobi group of companies were constantly in overdraft and there was a direct correlation between this and the payments made to Zuma.
At a time when Nkobi's overdrafts amounted to more than R1m, the companies and Shaik had made payments to Zuma of more than R1m.
van der Walt disclosed yesterday that Absa, Shaik and Zuma's bankers, originally declined Shaik as a "private bank" client because of his high-risk rating and history of exceeding his overdraft. The decision to take them on as clients in May 2001 had been a "political one".
Only two months later, a bank document reflected that Shaik was a high-risk client with no tangible security.
The following year his accounts were downgraded and moved from the private bank to the business centre.
The probe into Zuma's bank accounts was even less impressive.
"He could not pay his debts ... the only alternative was that he incurred them with the knowledge that somebody else would pay them for him," said van der Walt.
And they did.
And according to the report it was not only Shaik but others, including Durban business tycoon Vivian Reddy, who assisted.
Reddy bailed Zuma out when he incurred a debt of more than R1m on his Nkandla traditional village development.
Not only did Reddy help him to get a R900 000 bond, he signed surety for part of it and then made the monthly R12 000 repayment on it until March this year - a total of more than R181 756.
The financial problems Zuma had with the Nkandla project are linked to the other charge of corruption against Shaik - that he facilitated a bribe from French arms company Thomson-CSF.
The trial continues on Monday.
With acknowledgement to Cape Argus.