Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2004-10-11 Reporter: Elmarie Jack Reporter: Sapa

Shaik : Nixon Gets a Mention




Date 2004-10-11


Elmarie Jack, Sapa

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Durban - Deputy president Jacob Zuma is not the only controversial politician to have been dragged into the Schabir Shaik trial.

On Monday, disgraced former United States president Richard Nixon also received a mention, during argument on whether should be allowed to televise the trial live.

Opposing the application, Shaik's advocate Nirmal Singh, repeatedly cited a 1978 US supreme court decision, Nixon v Warner Communications.

That ruling denied Warner access to copies of Nixon's White House tapes that were produced as evidence during the celebrated Watergate trial.

Zuma's name crops up repeatedly in the Shaik charge sheet as the beneficiary of bribes allegedly paid or arranged by Shaik.

However he featured on the first day of the trial only by implication, when senior counsel Gilbert Marcus, arguing's case, was trying to emphasise the "major political importance" of the trial.

The issues, he said, were wider than those canvassed in the charges alone.

If the State succeeded in establishing the charges, it would have implications for "matters of governance" in South Africa.

Marcus was clearly referring to the fact that although Zuma was not an accused, it was generally accepted that the outcome of the trial would determine whether he stayed in the race to succeed Thabo Mbeki as president.

With acknowledgements to Elmarie Jack, Sapa and News24.