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Sam Sole & Stefaans Brummer
15 Oct 2004 08:00
When the state first presented details of its case against Schabir Shaik it had a problem explaining the alleged R500 000 “Zuma bribe”.
The alleged solicitation was easy to understand. The state had Thales executive Alain Thetardâ€™s hand-written note about the “effort” requested of Thales, and what would allegedly be offered in return - the protection of the company during the arms deal investigation and the support of Deputy President Jacob Zuma for future projects.
But proving the bribe was paid was clearly difficult for the Scorpions, who presented a complicated story about R1-million from the Nelson Mandela Foundation being paid via Zuma and Shaik to a rural development trust, the Development Africa Trust, controlled by another Zuma benefactor, Vivian Reddy.
The original state version was vague, throwing in various payments by Zuma associates towards his R1,3-million traditional homestead at Nkandla, without fully explaining how they were linked to Thales.
Also unexplained was how payments to the Development Africa Trust, whose beneficiaries were Zulu traditional leaders and royalty, benefited Zuma.
The opening presentation by prosecutor Billy Downer has now clarified the stateâ€™s case.
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