De Lille does civic duty to testify in Zuma trial

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille says it is her duty to testify in the fraud and corruption trial of African National Congress president Jacob Zuma.

"Yes I will certainly do my civic duty when I am asked or subpoenaed to do so. As a citizen I believe it is my duty to do so," De Lille told Sowetan yesterday.

She is one of 218 potential witnesses the state may call to testify during the trial of Zuma who faces 16 charges ranging from fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Zuma allegedly received over R4 million in payments from his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik who is now in prison.

De Lille, the initial whistle blower on corruption in the government's controversial multibillion arms deal, said she has not yet been asked by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to testify.

She released an explosive document in Parliament on September 19 1999 detailing corruption in the deal, which implicated senior members of the Cabinet and the government.

She has assisted investigators in the trial which led to Shaik's conviction.

Yesterday former Inkatha Freedom Party MP Gavin Woods also confirmed he was "99 to 100 percent sure" he will testify in the trial scheduled to take place in August.

He said he has had "informal" contact with NPA investigators who have informed him that he will be called to testify.

Woods, now a member of the National Democratic Convention (Nadeco) - is the former chairman of Parliament's watchdog financial accounts committee - the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa). He was ousted from his position and replaced by an ANC member.

Woods told Sowetan yesterday that he has more knowledge of the intricacies of the arms deal than any other individual because of the documents relating to the arms deal he had read during the time he was the Scopa chairman.

Former Democratic Alliance MP Raenette Taljaard also confirmed yesterday she would testify. She said she would have no other choice.