A 15-year gaol sentence for the Deputy President's advisor tests
the government's accountability and its unity
Text message jokes were flashing across South Africa this week. 'Jacob Zuma
and Schabir Shaik are together in a car. Who's driving?' Answer: 'The Police!' This debunking of Jacob Gedleyhlekisa Zuma, heir apparent and one of South Africa's most popular politicians, would have been unthinkable just months ago. But the conviction and sentencing of Zuma's Financial Advisor, Schabir Shaik, on 8 June on three counts of corruption and fraud has raised new doubts about the Deputy President's judgement and his actions. At the heart of the eight-month Shaik trial was an investigation into allegations of corruption linked to South Africa's US$6 billion arms procurement deal. During that investigation in 2003, Zuma denied that he had sought a bribe from the French company, Thales, now known as Thomson CSF. That point was a key element in the state's case against Shaik, and Judge Hilary Squires concluded that Shaik had in fact solicited a bribe on behalf of Zuma.
Washington and the multinationals give Ravalomanana's team a boost
Multinational mining giant Rio Tinto is about to approve a US$500 million dollar investment in the Fort Dauphin region of south-eastern Madagascar. The resulting employment and eco...
President Guebuza combines liberal economics with hard-line politics
Treading the boards at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town last week, President Armando Guebuza, impressed the delegates as a witty and thoroughly modern business-minded reformer...