Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2006-09-14 Reporter: Ernest Mabuza

Decision on Shaik Broadcast Reserved



Business Day

Date 2006-09-14


Ernest Mabuza

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THE SABC’s application to broadcast the appeal proceedings of Durban businessman Schabir Shaik in the Supreme Court of Appeal was an intervention in the process, the national director of public prosecutions argued in the Constitutional Court yesterday.

Peter Olsen, counsel for the director, said the task of the appeal court was to protect the interests of justice in the appeal by Shaik, and not interests relating to the SABC and the state.

He said the judges who would hear the Shaik appeals, and who ruled on the SABC application, were best placed to decide whether televised proceedings would have an inhibiting effect on the appeal.

The prosecution and Shaik are opposing the SABC’s application for leave to appeal against the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment, which refused the SABC permission to broadcast the appeal process, set to last a week beginning on September 26.

The Constitutional Court reserved judgment in the matter yesterday.

Shaik, who was convicted and sentenced by the Durban High Court last year for fraud and corruption, is appealing against the convictions and sentences.

He is also appealing against the civil order made by the court this year that he and two of his companies forfeit assets which the court found to have been accrued through various corrupt acts.

Shaik’s case is closely related to that of former deputy president Jacob Zuma, who is facing two corruption charges in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Counsel for the SABC Gilbert Marcus said the court had erred in finding that the SABC’s rights to freedom of expression and to impart information collided with Shaik’s right to a fair hearing and a fair trial.

With acknowledgements to Ernest Mabuza and Business Day.