RR RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #3474 2751530
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 021530Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2100
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 4913
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 9233
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC C O N F I D E N T I A L PRETORIA 003474
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2017
SUBJECT: ZUMA CO-CONSPIRATOR LOSES LAST APPEAL FOR FREEDOM
REF: PRETORIA 4593
Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Don Teitelbaum. Reasons 1.4 (b)
1. (U) Schabir Shaik's application to appeal his 15-year
sentence for corruption and fraud was dismissed on 02 October
by the Constitutional Court. In his appeal, Shaik's
attorneys argued that the trial was unfair because the State
did not charge him together with ANC Deputy President Jacob
Zuma, that certain search and seizures were illegal, that the
former National Director of Public Prosecutions at the time
of his arrest (Bulelani Ncguka) was guilty of misconduct, and
that the media had undue influence over the Supreme Court of
Appeal's decision to uphold the conviction. (NOTE: In
November 2006, Shaik lost his appeal to the Supreme Court of
Appeal (reftel). END NOTE) The Constitutional Court came to
a unanimous decision and dismissed all counts, adding that,
"the suffering of discrimination is not a general excuse for
crime committed after the dawn of democracy." The court also
noted that there may be a constitutional issue, but only
related to the seizure of Shaik's assets. The court granted
permission to appeal on that point.
2. (C) COMMENT. Today's court ruling effectively closes the
door on the highly publicized case of Schabir Shaik. Shaik's
only remaining avenue would be a presidential pardon.
3. (C) COMMENT CONT'D: Shaik's defeat today does not
necessarily mean the National Prosecuting Authority will
automatically prosecute Zuma for related corruption charges.
However, it adds some pressure to move forward given what is
now indisputable evidence against Zuma's co-conspirator.
Such criminal charges may not soften Zuma's support among his
core constituents, many of whom believe he has always been a
victim of a political conspiracy, nor would they necessarily
eliminate Zuma from the ANC succession battle, since a trial
could never be concluded before the ANC's national conference
in December. However, the potential of electing a party
president who may be found guilty of criminal conduct
complicates the succession race and may send more ANC elites
in search of a compromise candidate. END COMMENT.
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