Zuma's son accused of rape

2006-02-16 22:43

Durban - In a bizarre parallel, Jacob Zuma's "love child" Edward - the reason why Judge Jeremiah Shongwe, Edward's uncle, was unable to hear Zuma's rape trial this week - has also faced a rape charge.

And the repercussions of those charges led to another probe into Zuma and his financial adviser Schabir Shaik's finances, after allegations that Shaik arranged payments to the alleged victim once she dropped the case.

Shaik's regular payments of various expenses on Zuma's behalf, which the two men say were legitimate loans, were part of the corruption charges against Shaik.

Mziwoxolo Edward Zuma was arrested on October 22 2000 for allegedly raping a fellow student at the University of Zululand.

The charges were withdrawn and, on October 27, Zuma's office issued a statement saying the two parties had discussed the matter and resolved it amicably.

However, noseweek magazine later claimed there appeared to be a financial inducement attached to this decision, which emerged when the MD of one of Shaik's companies queried payments made to the girl from company accounts.

Confirmed settlement talks

Sabeer Sheik-Ibrahim, the former MD of Kobitech Transport Systems, confirmed this story to the Mail & Guardian newspaper, saying she had been receiving about R7 000 a month.

The girl's attorney, Linda Mazibuko, was quoted in noseweek as also confirming settlement talks involving Shaik, but declined to divulge any details.

KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Shamila Batohi confirmed in 2003 that she was reviewing the investigation in the light of the new claims.

She said she had received a report from the prosecutor and was awaiting the police docket.

On Thursday, Shaik dismissed the charge that he paid off the complainant as "absolute nonsense" and told a Johannesburg newspaper that he showed noseweek editor Martin Welz his company accounts and that Welz was satisfied that no payments were made to the woman.

However, on Thursday night, Welz told The Witness this was not true.

Accountant was in Johannesburg

He said Shaik invited him to see the accounts, but then avoided an appointment they set up for the purpose.

Welz said Shaik's accountant told him he could not confirm or deny that the woman was paid as he was in Johannesburg during that time.

"Since it is clear that, whether he was away or not, as the company's accountant he would know whether such payments were reflected in the accounts or not, it was clear to me that he simply did not want to risk denying the allegation," said Welz.