Publication: The Citizen Issued: Date: 2004-10-20 Reporter: Paul Kirk

Schabir Tries to Shaik Up Image



The Citizen

Date 2004-10-20


Paul Kirk

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Schabir Shaik arrives at the Durban High Court, where hes facing corruption charges. Shaik and his family have apparently called in the professionals in the form of a public relations expert.

Schabir Shaik and his family have called in professional help in the form of a public relations expert. Dominic Ntsele, who first became known during the Hefer Commission when former City Press editor Vusi Mona mentioned Ntsele was his friend, told The Citizen on Tuesday he would now attend trial proceedings on a regular basis.

Ive known the family for many years and they called me for some help. Ive come down to Durban to help out.

Shaiks former executive director has given evidence that Shaik repeatedly used the name of Deputy President Jacob Zuma in business meetings. On Monday his former personal assistant gave evidence of how he also once phoned Zuma to ask for help in landing a contract related to the arms deal.

On Tuesday Susan DeLique, a secretary who once worked for the Thales arms concern, told the court she had typed and transmitted a fax to Paris asking for a bribe of R500 000 a year for Jacob Zuma. She told the court she used a fax capable of encrypting the document to make the transmission.

According to the fax the bribe was for Zuma to provide protection from official investigations into the arms deal and for his support for future projects. DeLique worked for Thales senior manager Alain Thetard at the time.

Earlier Thetard claimed that the letter in question had been retrieved from his waste paper bin and was simply a collection of his notes on an entirely different subject.

He also denied that he ever had the note typed or faxed.

However, DeLique told the court she had kept the computer disk on which she had saved the infamous letter before printing and faxing it.

The Scorpions withdrew charges against Thales, who are now known as Thint, after Thetard confirmed he did write the note mentioning a bribe for Zuma. Immediately after giving the confirmation Thetard made an additional claim that, although he wrote the letter, it was consigned to the rubbish bin.

They may, however, still face criminal charges.

Scorpions spokesman Sipho Ngwema on Tuesday told the Citizen that the Scorpions have been approached by a rival arms company who want permission to begin a private prosecution of Thint.

With acknowledgements to Paul Kirk and The Citizen.