Shaik's 'racist attack' claims challenged

2011-06-03 08:25
Durban - Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik's claims that he was the victim of a racist attack at a Durban golf club are collapsing under scrutiny.

Media24 Investigations has interviewed more than 50 people working at, or members of, the Papwa Sewgolum golf club in Durban - and they all pour cold water on Shaik’s claim splashed on the front page of the Sunday Times last weekend.

Scores of people - including workers, managers, bar staff and members - have challenged Shaik’s claims that he was beaten up by four drunk men after he intervened when he overheard them calling President Jacob Zuma a k****r.

He claimed to the Sunday Times last week that he was kicked and beaten and called a “k*****-boetie” when he stepped in to defend the president.

Clubhouse bar

The incident supposedly took place in the clubhouse bar, which is small, and it is unlikely such an incident could have occurred without witnesses.

Zonke, the head of the bar, who declined to give her surname, said she was on duty every weekend including the weekend the incident was supposed to have occurred in her bar.

“If anything happened in the bar area I would have seen it. Nobody who works here saw anything or told me anything like this.

“Shaik plays here often but never comes into the bar area,” she said.

Aslam Peer, a respected member of the club and who sits on the club’s management committee, said: “We have thoroughly investigated the alleged attack. We spoke to all the staff, management, players and security personnel. There was no such incident as described by Shaik.”

Manju Patel, who manages the club’s halfway house and who is the wife of the former club president, said she knows nothing of the alleged incident. “If anyone saw or heard anything they would have told me. He [Shaik] plays here frequently, but there could never have been such an incident without one of us knowing about it,” she said.

Renuka Maraj, an assistant at the halfway house, said she was at the club the entire day the incident supposedly occurred and neither she nor the kitchen staff saw anything like that described by Shaik.

Waiting for pardon

The caddies and the club manager - who asked not to be named - said they found it strange that such an assault could have occurred without them knowing about it.

A group of 30 caddies who work at the course daily and who were interviewed by Media24 Investigations said they had heard nothing about the alleged incident. Security staff interviewed also said they knew nothing of it.

Shaik, speaking to Media24 Investigations at his Durban house, insisted the incident did occur and said that “generals” from the police had called him to ask if he wanted to lay a charge.

“I won’t. I am just waiting for my [presidential] pardon and then I’m going overseas. I am finished with the hate in this country.

“Why are you out for my blood?” he asked.

- investigations@media24

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