Publication: Business Day Date: 2004-10-29 Reporter: Tim Cohen Reporter: Sapa

Mandela's R2m 'Paid Off Debt of Zuma, Shaik'



Business Day

Date 2004-10-29


Tim Cohen, Sapa

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A sum of R2m that former president Nelson Mandela gave to Deputy President Jacob Zuma in October 2000 was used to pay the debts of Zuma and Schabir Shaik's Nkobi Holdings, the Durban High Court heard yesterday.

The state said Mandela's money had been intended for the kwaZulu-Natal RDP Education Trust Fund.

The evidence given by KPMG forensic auditor Johan van der Walt forms one aspect of the financial skeleton of the bribery charges brought against Shaik. Shaik, who is also charged with fraud, has denied all charges.

Van der Walt yesterday presented a sequence of financial events, which began with Mandela transferring R2m to Zuma for use in October 2000.

The day after the money was deposited, Shaik, who was Zuma's financial adviser at the time, instructed Absa Bank by fax to transfer R900 000 from Zuma's cheque account to a one-month fixed deposit account.

This account was in the name of Floryn Investments, a subsidiary of Nkobi.

Most of this cash was ultimately split between a company called Kobitech, which he said was about R760 000 in debt at the time, and Floryn .

On December 7 Zuma made out a cheque for R1m to pay a contractor involved in his Nkandla village traditional housing project. This suggested to him, said Van der Walt, that Zuma had been under the impression that there was still money in his account.

Shaik stopped the cheque the very next day.

With acknowledgement to Tim Cohen, Sapa and Business Day.