Shaik may well be called to testify in Zuma’s trial

Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, who is out on medical parole for a terminal illness, is seen walking out of the Spar in Florida Road, Durban on Wednesday, 16 December 2009.

Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, who is out on medical parole for a terminal illness, is seen walking out of the Spar in Florida Road, Durban on Wednesday, 16 December 2009.

Only the most crucial witnesses will be called from a list of 208 names, the NPA says, and if the prosecution feels it’s necessary, Shaik will be called.

Just because former president Jacob Zuma’s “right hand man and terminally ill” former financial adviser Schabir Shaik’s name does not appear on the witness list for the much-anticipated case, it does not mean he may not still be called to testify, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Advocate Luvuyo Mfaku has told The Citizen.

“The fact a person is not on the witness list at this stage does not mean they are precluded,” Mfaku said, speaking in general terms.

“We are not restricted to that witness list.

“We can inform the court or defence counsel ‘this is the witness we are going to call’.

“What is crucial is to share the statement of that particular witness with the defence in order for them to prepare.”

Mfaku said there would be a lot of strategising going on throughout the trial, and it wasn’t necessarily so that all 208 witnesses would be called to testify.

“It will depend on the prosecutions team when and if they need witnesses, who to call. There’s no point in calling a witness who can’t add anything to the case,” Mfaku said, noting only the most crucial witnesses would be called.

The list includes people staying in Malaysia, New Zealand and from across the country.

Members of the Hawks and SA Police Service are legion, while officials from the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Financial Intelligence Centre also feature on the list.

amandaw@citizen.co.za

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