While Zuma may have been granted a reprieve, Shabir Shaik’s appeal against his corruption conviction is proving to be quite a turbulent affair. His defence team came under pretty intense scrutiny by the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The judges challenged Shaik’s contention that his relationship with Zuma was "special" and not corrupt and queried how R1.2m worth of debts had been written off my Shaik’s accountants as "development costs" without Shaik being aware of this.
The court also took issue with Shaik’s alleged altruism and queried whether it would not be reasonable for Zuma to expect that Shaik’s financial assistance would have a cost? The judges also asked whether it was perhaps inappropriate for the former deputy president to throw his weight behind contractors associated with the person who bailed him out on so many occasions.
The State didn’t escape the unscathed. The court asked why the encrypted fax was admissable and the contention that Zuma agreed to a R500 000 bribe using a code that has not yet been cracked.
The outcome of this case is likely going to have an impact on Zuma’s corruption trial, one way or another. It won’t necessarily have an impact in law but it will certainly have an effect on morale and, ultimately, the political structure in this country.