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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU response to Appeal Court judgement on Schabir Shaik

06 - 11 - 06

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the Appeal Court's rejection of Schabir Shaik's application for leave to appeal against his fraud and corruption convictions, and the 15-year jail sentence imposed by the Durban High Court in July 2005.

It is not clear whether Shaik will be taking further action, such as referring the matter to the Constitutional Court, but if he does not exercise this option then the law must take its course and he will have to serve his sentence.

COSATU rejects however any suggestion that the Appeal Court's endorsement of the judge's finding that that Shaik had a "generally corrupt" relationship with ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma means that there is now a stronger case against him and that he mus t therefore now be charged.

Zuma and Shaik are not the same person, and each has the right to be tried completely independently. One person cannot be convicted in absentia on the basis of evidence against someone else.

If there was any evidence against Jacob Zuma, then he should have been charged and tried separately. In fact, when the National Prosecuting Authority charged Zuma with receiving bribes in connection with the arms deal, a Pietermaritzburg High Court judge t hrew out the case because the state could not prosecute it.

To suggest that the dismissal of the Shaik appeal means that Zuma must automatically now be considered guilty and be prosecuted amounts to a malicious witchhunt.

COSATU therefore reiterates the resolution of its 9th National Congress in September 2006. The resolution noted the outcome of the case against the Deputy President of the ANC in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, the comments of the Judge about the case, the role of the NPA and other state agencies in building a case against him through the use o f media and unsupported insinuations, the failure to protect his basic constitutional rights, the continued controversy surrounding the arms deal and COSATU's call for a full investigation of this deal.

Delegates believed that Jacob Zuma and COSATU had been vindicated, the NPA and other state agencies did not act in good faith and should not be used for narrow political ends, the constitutional rights of all citizens must be protected, corruption needs to be combated and rooted out, and attempts to re-introduce charges on this case would amount to a malicious prosecution.

Therefore Congress resolved:

  • To call for the urgent convening of the Alliance to discuss the political management of this matter.
  • To call for the judiciary to protect SA democracy, without being influenced.
  • That the Scorpions should be incorporated into the SAPS under one Commissioner.
  • To reaffirm the decisions of the Central Committee of COSATU in relation to support for Jacob Zuma, including the call for a full and impartial investigation into the arms deal.
  • To welcome the Pietermaritzburg court judgement and to call on all parties to respect it, and to congratulate him on its outcome.
  • That Jacob Zuma should be treated as any other innocent citizen.
  • To call for the legal moves against Jacob Zuma to be laid to rest once and for all.
  • To call for a review of the activities and role of the NPA and other state agencies.
  • To call for the immediate reinstatement of Comrade Jacob Zuma to the position of Deputy President of South Africa.