By Karyn Maughan and Gill Gifford
If the Supreme Court of Appeal has its way, Schabir Shaik will be an old man before he gets out of jail.
The Bloemfontein court on Monday morning unanimously rejected every single one of Shaik's attempts to appeal his fraud and corruption convictions and sentences.
Not only did the five appeal court judges found that Shaik's grounds for appeal were without merit, but they also ruled that his corrupt relationship with former deputy president Jacob Zuma went against the very fibre of the Constitution.
Explaining why the Supreme Court of Appeal did not want to reduce Shaik's 15-year sentence for corruption, Judge President Craig Howie said that "given the very high level of corruption that this case involved... it attacks the moral fibre of the people and inhibits its development".
The five judges agreed with the Durban High Court that Shaik had in fact made 238 payments to Zuma totalling R1,2-million and that these payments were to and on behalf of Zuma.
"We accept that the friendship was aggressively exploited by Shaik for his own business interests."
The judges found that Shaik was correctly convicted on the charge of corruption.
In terms of the fraud charge - the writing off of the R1,2-million - the judges found that the State had correctly convicted him.
"The seriousness of the offence of corruption cannot be overemphasised. It offends against the rule of law and the principle of good governance. It lowers the moral tone of a nation and negatively affects development and the promotion of human rights.
"As a country, we have travelled a long and tortuous road to achieve democracy. Corruption threatens our constitutional order.
"We must make every effort to ensure that corruption with its putrefying effects, is halted."