Chronology of developments leading to the guilty verdicts in the Schabir Shaik trial.

1998

April: The Defence Review, a comprehensive study to determine the future role, structure and needs of the defence force, is approved by Parliament.

November: The preferred suppliers of new equipment are announced. The contracts are to include industrial offsets - an undertaking by winning countries to invest in industrial projects.

1999

September: Cabinet announces it will go ahead with purchase of aircraft, helicopters, corvettes and submarines at a cost of R29,9billion over 12 years.

September: Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille claims in Parliament that members of government are involved in corruption related to the deal.

November: De Lille hands over information to Judge Willem Heath who is charged with investigating corruption in government structures.

December: Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota signs off on the arms deal package, which government says is expected to generate investment worth R104 billion and create 65000 jobs.

2000

January: President Thabo Mbeki says there is no prima facie evidence against anyone in government relating to the deal.

January: Finance Minister Trevor Manuel signs loans totalling US4.8 billion to finance the package.

September: The Auditor General reports "material deviations from generally accepted procurement practice" in the deal and recommends a forensic audit.

October: It emerges that the real cost of the deal is now closer to R43 billion, partly due to the rand's depreciation.

November: Parliament's public accounts committee calls for a multi-agency investigation into the deal, including Heath.

2001

January: The Mail & Guardian reveals that Durban businessman Schabir Shaik, Deputy President Jacob Zuma's struggle comrade and financial adviser, and also the brother of Chippy Shaik, a government arms procurer, is a director of a company that won a R400 million tender in the arms deal.

January: President Thabo Mbeki orders a probe by the Auditor General, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Public Protector, but excludes Heath.

May: The three agencies begin public hearings into the deal.

October: Tony Yengeni, former ANC chief whip and chairman of the parliamentary defence committee which oversaw the arms deal, is arrested on fraud and corruption charges.

October: Scorpions investigators raid premises in South Africa, France and Mauritius to obtain documentary evidence. The venues include Schabir Shaik's offices and home.

November: Schabir Shaik arrested on a charge of possessing classified Cabinet minutes on the arms deal.

November: The Protector, AG and NPA report that they find no evidence of improper or unlawful conduct by the government as a whole, but finger Chippy Shaik, for a conflict of interest over Schabir's involvement.

November: Chippy Shaik suspended on full pay and banned from setting foot in any military installation or headquarters.

2002

February: Opposition MP Gavin Woods quits as head of Parliament's standing committee on public accounts in protest at what he said was ANC interference in the committee's handling of the arms deal.

March: Chippy Shaik resigns.

June: Schabir Shaik is summoned to the NPA under the act to answer questions. He challenges the move in court.

November: The Pretoria High Court orders the Auditor General to hand over documents related to its investigation into the arms deal to Cape Town-based CCII Systems, which lost out on a contract to supply combat technology. The contract went instead to a company in which Schabir Shaik was a shareholder.

2003

March: Yengeni is sentenced to four years' jail for fraud. The court finds he tried to cover up a car deal arranged for him by a representative of a bidder in the arms acquisition process. He appeals.

August: National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka announces that, though there is prima facie evidence against Zuma, he will not be prosecuted as the case is not winnable.

August: Schabir Shaik appears in court on corruption charges that also name Zuma. He is released on bail.

August: Former transport minister Mac Maharaj resigns from the board of FirstRand Bank after suggestions - of which a bank-sponsored probe can find no evidence - that during his time as minister he influenced the award of transport contracts to Schabir Shaik.

September: City Press newspaper prints claims that Ngcuka was an apartheid spy. Mbeki appoints Judge Joos Hefer to test the allegations.

December: Pretoria High Court orders that Zuma get full access to a document authored by Alain Thetard of the French arms company Thales that allegedly implicates him in bribery but has been withheld from him by the NPA.

December: Constitutional Court rejects Schabir Shaik's application to strike down parts of the National Prosecuting Authority Act that he believes violate his right to silence.

2004

January: Hefer finds Ngcuka was "probably never" an apartheid spy, but also criticises leaks from his office about ongoing investigations.

January: Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana launches probe into allegations by Zuma that Ngcuka abused his office.

May: Mushwana says in his report that Ngcuka's August 2003 statement on Zuma was "unfair and improper". Ngcuka retorts that Mushwana has no backbone.

July: Ngcuka hands in his resignation.

October 11: Schabir Shaik's corruption and fraud trial starts in the Durban High Court.

2005

June: Shaik found guilty on two charges of corruption and one of fraud. While Deputy President Jacob Zuma was not on trial, the judge found that Shaik's relationship with him had been "generally corrupt".