Publication: The Mercury Issued: Date: 2006-07-25 Reporter: Tania Broughton Reporter: Reporter:

So, Who will be the Judge for The Big Trial?



The Mercury




Tania Broughton

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Is a (wink) as good as a nod? If the answer is yes, then the person who walks into the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday to preside over the trial of Jacob Zuma will be Judge Herbert Msimang *1.

KZN Judge President Vuka Tshabalala is the man tasked with selecting the judge and probably the only one who knows who that person is, apart from the person himself.

But Tshabalala is still not saying anything on the matter. Approached informally by The Mercury, he took the gentle probing in his stride, even when confronted with the fact that the Zuma court file, usually available to the public in the Registrar's office prior to trials, was already with Msimang.

Smiling, he said the reporter was completely on the wrong track.

And then he gave a big wink.

But sources close to the judge cautioned that "the wink shouldn't be taken too seriously".

Others close to the trial said there was a new rumour that a judge other than Msimang might hear the state's expected application for postponement.

The truth behind the wink will be revealed on Monday.

With acknowledgement to Tania Broughton and The Mercury.

*1       A relative of Mendi Msimang, Treasurer-General of the ANC, who was also having secret meetings with Alain Thetard of Thomson-CSF prior to the award of the corvette combat suite contract in early 1999.

It is also indicated that a certain attorney, one Sven Hansen of Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, acting on behalf of Thyssen Marine, met a certain high-level ANC courier in Geneva, Switzerland in order to hand over DM30 million cash in lobbying fees, or a secret access code for a Swiss bank account containing the same amount of money for the same purpose.

*2      If the reporter was completely on the wrong track and if it is a fact that the Zuma court file was already with Judge Msimang, then what is Judge Msimang doing with the court file?