Publication: Sunday Times Issued: Date: 2004-10-24 Reporter: Xolisa Vapi Reporter: Paddy Harper

Secretaries Have Their Day



Sunday Times

Date 2004-10-24


Xolisa Vapi, Paddy Harper

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Bianca Singh

Clearly intimidated, Schabir Shaik's former secretary gave evidence in a half-whisper, avoiding eye contact with her erstwhile boss.

"I am scared and believe that I have reason to fear Mr Shaik. I have heard him say that he will not let anyone break down his empire, and he would just eliminate or get rid of them," she said.

Susan Delique

Former secretary to Thomson CSF (now Thales) South Africa boss Alain Thetard spent her time in the witness box shadowed by a keen-eyed female bodyguard.

"When I left Thomsons ... I had a rather unpleasant experience with Mr Thetard ... I feared for my safety... I grabbed what I had on my desk and my bag and I ran out of the office," she said.

Marion Marais

A former secretary of Thetard, Marais told of his secretive and volatile nature.

"There was a newspaper on my desk with headlines about the arms deal. Mr Thetard looked at it and said: ‘Why does this make such headlines in South Africa? It [bribery] would be normal practice in France.'"

With acknowledgements to Paddy Harper, Xolisa Vapi and the Sunday Times.