Publication: The Natal Witness Issued: Date: 2004-10-12 Reporter: Sapa

Zuma Not the Only Politician



The Natal Witness

Date 2004-10-12



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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 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Nixon vs Warner Communications. That ruling denied Warner access to copies of Nixon's White House tapes during the Watergate scandal.

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, are wider than those canvassed in the charges alone. If the state succeeds 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 is not an accused, it is generally accepted that the outcome of the trial will determine whether he stays in the race to succeed Thabo Mbeki as president.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and The Natal Witness.