Here’s what Squires said:

CityPress - - Voices -

There was a flurry of ex­cite­ment this week about how Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has been ac­cused of be­ing cor­rupt even though he has never been found guilty of the crime.

This is true. Zuma has never been con­victed of cor­rup­tion, nor has he had the chance to an­swer to the more than 700 crim­i­nal charges, in­clud­ing cor­rup­tion, rack­e­teer­ing and money laun­der­ing. So it could be ar­gued he has only been tried in the court of public opin­ion. Ev­ery­one whose name has been so be­smirched in public de­serves a chance to prove their in­no­cence. But Zuma and his lawyers have spent hun­dreds of hours and mil­lions of rands to avoid that op­por­tu­nity.

Now here is the most im­por­tant truth, which gives a lie to the lame at­tempts to por­tray him as a vic­tim of a con­niv­ing media. In May 2005, af­ter nearly half a year in court, his friend and fi­nan­cial ad­viser Sch­abir Shaik was con­victed of fraud and cor­rup­tion. Most of these charges re­lated to Shaik’s un­savoury re­la­tion­ship with Zuma. Dur­ing the trial, in which scores of wit­nesses tes­ti­fied and vol­umes of doc­u­ments were pre­sented be­fore Judge Hi­lary Squires and his as­ses­sors, a pic­ture was painted of a dirty, sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two men. It was a pic­ture of how Shaik and his com­pa­nies paid money to Zuma, and how he did favours for the for­mer while in public of­fice.

In find­ing Shaik and his en­ti­ties guilty of cor­rup­tion, Squires said: “Since all the ac­cused com­pa­nies were used at one time or another to pay sums of money to Ja­cob Zuma in con­tra­ven­tion of ... the Cor­rup­tion Act and Ac­cused Num­ber 1 [Shaik] di­rected them to that end or made pay­ments him­self, all the ac­cused are found guilty on the main charge.”

Supreme Court of Ap­peal judges were also clear about the re­la­tion­ship. “Shaik caused the bribes to be paid to Zuma for the ad­van­tage of all the Nkobi com­pa­nies so that which­ever com­pany should re­quire the ex­er­cise of Zuma’s in­flu­ence would re­ceive it. The pay­ments to Zuma, a pow­er­ful politi­cian, over a pe­riod of more than five years were made cal­cu­lat­ingly.”

Zuma apol­o­gists will ar­gue that these quotes re­late to Shaik and not the pres­i­dent. This is true. What is also true, and was borne out by the judg­ments, is that dirty money ex­changed hands be­tween the two. What is true is that Zuma used his in­flu­ence to favour Shaik. These are the truths.

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