Publication: Cape Argus Issued: Date: 2004-10-14 Reporter: Jeremy Gordin

Technology Lends Power to Lawyer's Point



Cape Argus

Date 2004-10-14


Jeremy Gordin

Web Link


Calling all those hi-tech graphic designers and artists out there - you need to thank your lucky stars that Billy Downer SC opted for the law and not your craft.

For Downer, who is chief prosecutor in the trial of Schabir Shaik on charges of corruption and fraud, opened his case against Shaik yesterday in Durban high court by giving a Powerpoint presentation to Judge Hilary Squires and his two assessors.

Besides showing the most lucid version of the case against Shaik made so far by anyone, this was probably the first time in this country that a major criminal case has been set out in this form.

Downer's presentation showed everything in, well, graphic detail.

Even the most cerebrally challenged person in the court now understands that what Downer calls "the informal process" portion of bidding for a contract (for, say, manufacturing a combat suite in a Corvette) can possibly involve some shady dudes.

We know this because in the "slide" explaining the process, there were these little icons - of men in trench coats and dark glasses with their hats pulled down over their foreheads.

But perhaps he should have done some more work on the human representations in general and on the icon labelled "Shaik" or "Accused 1" in particular.

The "Shaik" icon was of a young white male with a full head of hair, and we all know that Shaik is in his 40s balding and not "white".

With acknowledgements to Jeremy Gordin and the Cape Argus.