The affordable education loan option
Durban - Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik, who is apparently kept alive by hypertension medication, has again been accused of assault after he allegedly struck a caddie with a golf club on a Durban golf course last month.
Shaik has denied the allegations, calling them “baseless”.
The altercation was said to have happened at Papwa Sewgolum Golf Course in Reservoir Hills on a Sunday afternoon three weeks ago. Shaik, who was with his private physician, Salim Gaffoor, had “a few bad holes on the course”, according to his caddie, before he assaulted him.
Gaffoor confirmed an altercation but said the caddie was exaggerating and it was he who was “rude” and “arrogant” during the incident.
“He is making a big issue out of nothing. After demanding his money, Schabir told him to concentrate on me… it was nothing major,” he said, adding that Shaik only “pushed” the caddie.
However, police were called, apparently by another golfer who witnessed the altercation.
The caddie, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisal, said Shaik beat him with a wedge, trampled him with the spikes of his golfing shoes, slapped him and called him a “k*****”.
He admitted that, in the heat of the moment, he had retaliated by calling Shaik a “c*****”. This was all in “full view of other golfers”, he said.
The drama unfolded at the 11th green when Shaik, who was chipping and had played a poor shot, told the caddie not to worry about him and focus on his partner, as he was “getting annoyed”.
“He said I was upsetting him. I asked why, and told him that if I’m upsetting him he should give me my money and I’ll leave,” the caddie said. “I just wanted my money,” which was R60 for the first nine holes.
Shaik told the caddie to “stop acting clever” and an argument ensued which led to the racial insults and the alleged assault.
“I told him that he might have millions but he doesn’t own this life.”
The caddie, who said he had worked at the golf course for 20 years, was initially reluctant to speak to The Mercury when the paper visited him after receiving an anonymous tip-off about the incident.
He had opened a case at the Sydenham police station and was taken there by the officers who had been called to the golf course.
A police officer at the station, whose identity is known by The Mercury, apparently made contact with Shaik’s driver while trying to persuade the caddie not to pursue the matter.
“He (the policeman) gave me the phone and said someone wanted to speak to me,” said the caddie. It was Shaik’s driver who told him he was on his way to the station.
“A few minutes later, the driver arrived. He asked me what could be done to make the matter go away. I said ‘nothing’, but then he offered me R500.”
The caddie claims to have been told to “let this go” by the officer because Shaik “is the president’s (Jacob Zuma’s) man”.
The caddie took the money and left.
Shaik said there was no substance to the claims, and he did not want to comment.
After telling The Mercury journalist to get a “real f******” job” he said: “Rather use your position positively. Report on substantial issues.” Shaik said people were only trying to get into the “limelight” using his name.
The golf course manager, Dhanashan Nair, said he had not been on duty that day, but had been told of “an argument” between a caddie and a player.
“I had heard something about an incident, but I did not receive any official complaint,” said Nair.
Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said no call-out had been logged at the station, and advised the victim to speak to the station commander.
This is not the first time Shaik has been accused of assault on a golf course. In early 2011, a Sunday Tribune woman journalist was allegedly throttled and slapped by Shaik when working on a story about him playing golf while on parole. A complaint was laid, but the prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
A few weeks later, Shaik was accused of assault at a mosque in Durban after he was said to have slapped and punched a man whohad argued with Shaik about parking at the exit. Nothing came of the incident. Shaik was convicted of fraud and corruption in 2005 but only served two years and four months of his 15-year sentence before he was released for medical reasons.
Comedian Trevor Noah has taken to calling Shaik “South Africa’s Chuck Norris”.