Publication: The Star Issued: Date: 2004-10-11 Reporter: Sapa

Shaik Arrival Causes Media Frenzy



The Star

Date 2004-10-11



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Schabir Shaik arrived at the Durban High Court at around 9:30am on Monday for the start of his fraud and corruption trial.

Dressed in a dark pin striped suit and white shirt, and surrounded by a large entourage led by his brother Mo, Shaik walked up Masonic Grove and paused at the top of the steps before entering the court building.

His arrival caused a media frenzy with photographers and journalists rushing to catch a glimpse of him.

Shaik smiled but looked tense and left it to his brother to say: "No comment".

His arrival caused a media frenzy

Once inside the court building he stood in the internal courtyard chatting to his brother and one of the representatives of the French arms company accused of collusion in the alleged bid to bribe Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

Lawyers not connected to the case and members of the public leaned over the first floor balcony and watched with interest. Security at the court was tight with hand-held metal detectors, and a second security check inside the building.

Judge Hillary Squires had already arrived at the court for the trial which was expected to begin with the court dropping charges against arms company Thint and then an application by and SABC for permission to broadcast the proceedings live.

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions agreed to drop the charges in return for a statement by Thint director Alain Thetard confirming he was the author of a note which the Scorpions believe show Zuma was to be bribed.

The State will reportedly seek leave to add another company from the Shaik stable, Chartley Investments, to the indictment.

An application by and the SABC for permission to broadcast the proceedings live would then be considered.

The proceedings were only expected to focus on Shaik on Wednesday.

In an indictment shot through with references to Zuma, the State alleges Shaik made improper payments totalling R1,25 million benefiting the deputy president between 1995 and 2002 and that he arranged for Zuma to receive R500 000 a year from a French arms manufacturer in return for protection against a probe into arms deal corruption.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and The Star.