Schabir Shaik trial

The Schabir Shaik trial was an important court trial in post-apartheid South Africa. The case, tried in the Durban and Coast Local Division of the High Court before Judge Hilary Squires, established a fraudulent and corrupt relationship between Durban-based businessman Schabir Shaik and former South African leader Jacob Zuma.

Shaik's writing off of Zuma's significant personal loans in 1999 had raised suspicions about their financial activities. After Shaik's brother, Chippy Shaik, was suspended from the Department of Defence for his involvement in the 1999 Arms Deal, Schabir Shaik was arrested in 2001 for the possession of secret documents, after which investigators found that he was involved in corrupt dealings with Zuma as well as fraud. He was brought to trial in October 2004, pleading not guilty. After Shaik's petition of appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal failed he started to serve his sentence of 15 years on 9 November 2006.

Shaik's trial was the subject of intense media attention due to the involvement of several high-profile members of the South African government. Though Shaik claimed that his financial dealings were legitimate, on 30 May 2005, the Durban High Court handed down its final judgment. He was pronounced guilty of corruption for paying Zuma 1.2 million Rand (US$185,000) to further their relationship and for soliciting a bribe from the French arms company Thomson-CSF, now Thales, as well as guilty of fraud for writing off more than R1 million (US$154,000) of Zuma's unpaid debts.

Judge Squires sentenced Shaik to two terms of 15 years for corruption and one term of 3 years for fraud, to be served concurrently. Following the decision, Zuma stepped down from his seat in Parliament, though he remained deputy president of the African National Congress at that time. Thabo Mbeki, the standing President, sacked Zuma as his deputy. Zuma was later elected as the president of the ANC.

Shaik then attempted an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal. However, all five judges under President Craig Howie unanimously rejected his appeal, and agreed the correct sentence had been given over a year prior. Provided by Wikipedia

by Walt, Johan van der
Published 2015
Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Other Authors: ...Walt, Johan van der...