Publication: SABC Issued: Date: 2004-10-10 Reporter:

Shaik Family Wants the Truth




Date 2004-10-10

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Shaik family wants the truth (Article published on October 10, 2004) Schabir Shaik's family says it has been waiting for years now for him to have his day in court. They say the high profile case has not only put Schabir on trial, but also the entire family and its contribution to the struggle against apartheid.

Inspired by their businessman father, Lambie, the Shaik family got involved in the struggle for a non-racial South Africa and, as was the case with most political families, they often paid a heavy price for it.

Ebrahim Ebrahim, a former ANC underground operative, says: "The police got wind that the Shaiks had harboured me in their house. They started observing the Shaik brothers …they arranged that I go into hiding and as a result Mo, Younis and Chippy Shaik were arrested and tortured."

Mo and Younis Shaik became ANC intelligence operatives. The youngest brother, Chippy, although not an intelligence operative, never had it easy either. He once spent a year in detention, most of it in solitary confinement. In 1997 Chippy was appointed chief of acquisitions of the government's arms procurement - the project that started the controversy. A company in which Chippy's brother Schabir had an interest became one of the beneficiaries of the arms deal. At about that time, Schabir described himself as the deputy president's financial advisor.

Younis Shaik said: "This is not the Shaik family versus the NPA. We are now being profiled in a particular way, that we are rich, greedy, cigar smoking and cigar loving individuals … that we have no morals; we are dodgy in our business transactions. I think this is untrue and inaccurate."

As the court drama is about to begin, the Shaik family say it can not wait for it all to end. Although the blood ties will always be there they say what they really want is the truth.

With acknowledgement to SABC.