Publication: Saturday Argus Issued: Date: 2004-10-30 Reporter: Tania Broughton

Payments to Zuma Put Shaik Companies 'in Red'



Saturday Argus

Date 2004-10-30


Tania Broughton

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Fancy clothes from Cassanova: R68 000. School and university fees: R277 680. Airfares: R26 000. Car repayments and repairs: R248 883. Rent on a luxury flat: R121 500.

These were just some of the payments made by Durban businessman Schabir Shaik to and on behalf of Deputy President Jacob Zuma, Durban High Court judge Hilary Squires heard on Friday.

Presenting the final chapter of his 250-page forensic report, KPMG auditor Johan van der Walt - who has been in the witness stand all week - testified that the payments between October 1995 and December 2002 totalled R1,269-million.

The accounting records of Shaik and Zuma which were introduced into evidence this week indicated that Zuma was living a life he could not afford.

Shaik is accused of two counts of corruption and one of fraud. A corruption charge relates to what the state alleges was a generally corrupt relationship between the two men, the one paying the other for business influence.

The second corruption charge relates to allegations that Shaik facilitated a R1-million "bribe" from French arms company Thomson CSF for Zuma. The fraud charge concerns the "writing off" by Shaik of a R1,2-million loan - apparently also an attempt to disguise payments made to Zuma.

Shaik has admitted making the majority of payments but claims he did so out of friendship. He has flatly denied the other two charges.

Van der Walt said there was a direct correlation between the debts and overdrafts of Shaik and his Nkobi group of companies and the payments to Zuma.

"If these had not been made, the companies would have been in a cash positive, not a cash negative situation," he said.

With acknowledgements to Tania Broughton and the Saturday Argus.