Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2006-11-17 Reporter: Reporter:

Shaik has Always Been into Liquidity, it Seems



Business Day

Date 2006-11-17

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Schabir Shaik has become a household name in SA, for all the wrong reasons. Most people know him as the man who was convicted of trying to lead former deputy president Jacob Zuma astray, and perhaps also as a minor African National Congress operative during the struggle years.

But it seems our Schabir was a bit of a “Mover and Shaiker” in other fields before going into business and becoming a corrupter of men. Or perhaps there is more than one Schabir Shaik out there.

Either way, the Cape Argus published a bizarre letter to the editor earlier this week from one Charles Hawkins, a retired lecturer who once worked at what was the Peninsula Technikon and is now part of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. According to Hawkins, a Schabir Shaik joined Pentech as a lecturer in the mid-1980s after receiving a technical qualification from a university in Hawaii.

“At the onset, it was noted that he was an immaculately dressed, well-mannered young man with exceptional determination and drive in his efforts to obtain the best results for his students,” Hawkins said.

“Is this not a remarkable man or genius?”

He also recalls that Shaik “busied himself with a project” while at Pentech, with the formal academic title of Level Regulation of Water Flow Under Various Temperatures, which was hailed far and wide as a huge success.

If this was indeed the same Schabir Shaik, it may explain how he ended up in hot water.

The comedians

THEY are separated by more than 20 years, come from opposing political parties, and one evicted the other from office. Yet they get along like a house on fire and sometimes appear to have more in common with each other politically than they do with their respective successors.

No, not former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, but their US counterparts, Bill Clinton and George Bush Snr. AP reports that the veteran politicians are increasingly acting like a pair of touring comedians on the international lecture circuit. They even have their entrance down pat, striding in with arms aloft, music pounding, lights flashing, the crowd standing and going wild.

They addressed more than 25000 people at the National Association of Realtors convention in the US on Saturday, drawing at least six standing ovations and almost continuous applause. One problem with retirement, Bush said, was memories did not fail on certain topics. “After 14 years no one forgets if you throw up on the Japanese premier.”

Clinton played second fiddle after Bush’s round of jokes. “You’ve just witnessed George Bush’s revenge for the 1992 campaign,” he said of the year he defeated Bush for the presidency. “I’m condemned for the rest of my life to be his straight man.”

Wise words

“THE only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” — Leading Keynesian economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006).

With acknowledgement to Business Day.