DURBAN - PUBLIC Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille will be the first state witness when former president Jacob Zuma’s corruption, fraud, money laundering, racketeering and tax evasion trial resumes on Monday.
De Lille, who first blew the whistle on the multi-billion rand arms deal almost 22 years ago, told Independent Media the National Prosecuting Authority had asked to her give evidence on the document she presented in the National Assembly on September 9, 1999.
She said she would be the state’s first witness when the trial resumes on Monday at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
According to De Lille, she is expected to give evidence on the contents of her dossier, which she still believes needed to be investigated by law enforcement agencies.
Almost a month before Monday’s hearing, Zuma dumped his legal representatives, Eric Mabuza Attorneys and advocate Muzi Sikhakhane SC.
De Lille’s dossier was handed to her by a group of concerned ANC MPs.
In the dossier, the former Cape Town mayor revealed that before the government confirmed British Aerospace as one of the preferred bidders the company bought ANC national executive committee member and the governing party’s then chief whip Tony Yengeni a Mercedes-Benz ML 320 Auto 4X4.
At the time, Yengeni’s luxury vehicle had been ordered by a representative of Daimler-Benz Aerospace AG for R307 400 through an inter-group discount scheme.
It was later sold to Yengeni in 1998 when he was chairperson of Parliament’s joint standing committee on defence for R182 500, a discount of nearly R125 000, under the false pretext that it was damaged.
She also accused Zuma, who was KwaZulu-Natal economic affairs and tourism MEC at the time, and his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik of being involved in arms deal corruption.
Yengeni and Shaik were both jailed for fraud.
Shaik, who was granted medical parole in 2009 on the grounds that he was terminally ill, spent two years and four months of his 15-year sentence in prison.
Yengeni spent just four months of his four-year sentence at the Malmesbury prison in the Western Cape.