'Snag' in Heath's role as Zuma advisor

Jacob Zuma will be in breach of his bail conditions if he consults with former judge Willem Heath, The Star website reported on Friday.

It said Heath was added to prosecutor Anton Steynberg’s comprehensive list of state witnesses late on Wednesday. Heath is former head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

When Steynberg handed in the initial list to the court, he said it was a condition of Zuma’s bail that he would not be allowed to contact any of the witnesses.

Heath announced a few days ago he would serve as a consultant in Zuma’s court battle against the National Prosecuting Authority.

On Thursday night, Heath told The Star he was not aware his name had been added to the list of state witnesses.

He denounced the move as a ruse by the prosecution, saying he would continue consulting with Zuma.

Heath said he was briefed by Zuma before that list was drawn up. The state is not entitled to stop Zuma from consulting him.

“It’s a ruse. When a witness is cited or subpoenaed and there’s a fear that the accused will interfere or intimidate the witness, the court will order the accused not to contact the witness,” said Heath.

“None of these [concerns] was present in this instance.”

Zuma has provisionally been charged with two counts of corruption.

It is believed one will relate to an allegation that he had a “generally corrupt” relationship with Schabir Shaik, who formerly acted as his financial adviser.

The other is likely to be linked to an alleged bribe agreement concluded between Shaik, Zuma and Alain Thetard, a former director of French arms company Thomson. - Sapa