Publication: Cape Times
Reporter: Wendy Jasson da Costa
Wendy Jasson da Costa, Sapa
Shaik loses appeal, told
to report to prison
The Supreme Court of Appeal's unanimous dismissal
of Durban businessman Schabir Shaik's appeal against his fraud and corruption
convictions yesterday has placed the spotlight firmly
on former deputy president Jacob Zuma.
Opposition parties were
also unanimous in expecting the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to reopen
its case against Zuma, which was struck off the roll in the Durban High Court
two months ago.
But, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the
ANC Youth League warned against premature conclusions.
Democracy in SA (Idasa) executive director Paul Graham, said the Appeal Court
decision had given the Scorpions "more than enough
motivation" to reinstate corruption charges against Zuma.
Supreme Court of Appeal has confirmed Schabir Shaik made payment to Zuma in
order to influence him ... also confirmed that Shaik sought
a bribe from arms manufacture Thomson CSF on behalf of Mr Zuma.
"The judgment has made it possible for the Scorpions to now reopen their
corruption case against Zuma," Graham said.
Shaik did not attend court
in Bloemfontein yesterday and was in Cape Town, where his senior counsel is
On hearing the news, he reportedly said: "I can't believe it.
Boom, boom, boom, one, two, three, they didn't uphold anything.
lawyers were wrong about what was going to happen."
Supreme Court of
Appeal President Craig Howie, in a summary of the judgment, said no grounds were
found to change Shaik's convictions and sentences, which meant an effective
prison sentence of 15 years.
He now has between 48 and 72 hours to
report to correctional services.
Shaik failed to attend a scheduled news
conference broadcast live later yesterday, sending his brothers Mo and Yunis
Mo said the brothers did not expect the judgment to go the way
it had, because Schabir still maintained that his relationship with Zuma was
"founded on altruism".
"Schabir does not believe that he has done
anything wrong in his relationship with Jacob Zuma."
He said Zuma had
been in debt and Schabir had acted out of "compassion".
Asked about the
possibility of an appeal to the Constitutional Court, Yunis said the brothers
were still studying the judgment and were not yet able to draw any conclusion as
to whether there were grounds to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
her reaction, the Democratic Alliance's Sheila Camerer said the ruling "surely"
had serious implications for Zuma's political future.
"It is hard to see how the NPA can fail to pursue their case
against him now," she said.
Koos van der Merwe of the Inkatha
Freedom Party agreed that the development raised serious challenges for Zuma.
"It will now be interesting to see which path the
NPA decides to take from here," Van der Merwe said.
Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa said that the ruling had put the
Scorpions and the NPA on higher moral ground to formulate charges against Zuma.
The time had arrived for both the Scorpions and Zuma to show
cause why Zuma should not get his day in court.
Frik van Heerden
of the Freedom Front Plus said his party had confidence in the legal system to
take a possible Zuma court case further, but an automatic conviction was by no
means a foregone conclusion.
There was no public statement from Zuma. An
aide said he was "in Europe" and would "consider" whether or not to release a
statement on his return to SA later this week.
However, Zuma's website
contained the following message on its homepage: "Shaik's appeal ... was
dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday morning. This is likely to
precipitate media speculation about the implications for Msholozi (Zuma). We
need to continue our unwavering support for our hero and leader, Jacob Zuma."
While political parties had largely welcomed the unanimous decision by
five judges of the Appeal Court to uphold Shaik's sentence, the ANC Youth
League, Young Communist League and Cosatu were quick to point out that Zuma
himself had not been found guilty of anything.
Authority spokesman Makhosini Nkosi said the Director of Public Prosecutions,
Advocate Vusi Pikoli, would consider the court's ruling and consult with the
prosecution team before deciding whether or not charges should be pressed
In her reaction, ID leader Patricia de Lille said she had
been vindicated. She was referring to a document she received when she was a PAC
MP, which alleged corruption in the arms deal. "The De Lille Dossier has brought
down the second powerful crook in the arms deal saga. This judgment proves that
our judiciary is independent … and that we are all equal before the law," De
Should Jacob Zuma be charged in light of the Schabir Shaik
judgment? Have your say - vote on www.iol.co.za/polls.
The results, and some of your
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With ackowledgements to Wendy Jasson da Costa, Sapa and