In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
In what legal experts say is another blow to ANC president Jacob Zuma's prospects in his coming corruption trial, the Constitutional Court yesterday unanimously dismissed an application by convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik for leave to appeal against the confiscation of his company's assets.
In a judgment yesterday, Justice Kate O'Regan dismissed appeals by Shaik and his companies, Nkobi Holdings and Nkobi Investments.
The Durban high court granted the confiscation order on January 31 2006 and the order was largely upheld by the supreme court of appeal on November 6 2006.
The assets were confiscated after Shaik was convicted of corruption relating to payments to Zuma. The appeal court agreed that Shaik, who is serving 15 years, and his companies had received shareholding in arms firm Thint as a result of corrupt payments to Zuma.
The court said the shares, valued at R21million, constituted proceeds of unlawful activities and subject to confiscation in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
Further, Nkobi Holdings was paid R12,7 million by Thint who got it from African Defence Systems (ADS) between 2001 and 2006. The dividends were used to pay for the 25 percent shareholding in Thint.
Their application in the Constitutional Court was meant to contest the validity of the confiscation order that was granted as a result of Nkobi Investment's 25percent shareholding in Thint and 20percent in ADS. Nkobi Holdings indirectly held the same share amount in ADS, which in turn was owned by Thint with 80 percent shareholding.
Shaik, who had R19,3 million interests in Thint, is said to have gained a smaller indirect share in ADS.
O'Regan concluded that the state had established that the benefits to Shaik and his firms had flowed from Zuma's support for Shaik and his companies as evidenced by Zuma's intervention on July 2 1998 at a meeting in London.
Zuma's intervention led to Shaik and Nkobi obtaining a stake in ADS, which was part of the consortium that won the bid for the controversial multimillion-rand arms deal.
She said: "I have found that the benefits of the shareholding and the dividends did result from Mr Zuma's intervention on behalf of the appellants."