Publication: Business Day Date: 2004-10-29 Reporter: Reporter:

Zuma's Finances Dominate Shaik Trial



Business Day

Date 2004-10-29

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The state added more detail to its case against Schabir Shaik yesterday as the Durban High Court heard that the businessman paid more than R1,2m into Jacob Zuma's accounts to fund the deputy president's high-rolling lifestyle.

Between July 1996 and December 2003, Zuma paid out R4,29m from his bank accounts, but deposited only R3,8m.

KPMG forensic auditor Johan van der Walt ended his week of testimony with evidence that payments Shaik made to cover Zuma's overdraft, bonds on a host of properties and car repayments crippled Shaik's Nkobi Holdings' cash flow, threatening the business.

His testimony largely centred on the bribery charges brought against Shaik , who is also charged with fraud. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Yesterday, van der Walt highlighted how Zuma was incapable of acquiring assets, but funded his lifestyle from a variety of bank accounts. As kwaZulu-Natal economic affairs and development MEC in July 1996, Zuma netted R20 000 a month .

Unknown sources made repayments on a property Zuma jointly owned with his former wife, Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in Berea, Durban, in three lump-sum payments over three years after Permanent Bank had issued several letters of demand.

Shaik also assisted in repaying a R400 000 bond on a Killarney, Johannesburg, property and facilitated an increased overdraft for Zuma.

"Although (Standard Bank) appreciated Shaik's efforts and deposits from his personal resources, they could not allow the situation (with Zuma's finances) to continue," van der Walt said, citing documentation from the bank.

In 1997, Zuma acquired a R305 000 Mercedes-Benz, financing the vehicle through Wesbank. Shaik made payments into the account.

Zuma again signed a Wesbank lease four years later, for a R275 000 Mitsub ishi Pajero; by last December the account was nearly R130 000 in arrears.

Zuma established overdrafts from a host of banks to cover his loans and bonds.

Over a seven-year period, van der Walt said, R625 196 was deposited into Zuma's personal accounts from unknown sources.

Some were travel refunds and subsistence allowances from government.

But Zuma was increasingly reliant on overdraft facilities as his spending topped R4,29m.

With acknowledgement to Business Day.