Former president Jacob Zuma will be making yet another appearance in court today. He will be answering corruption charges in the Kwazulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
Zuma, the country’s leader for nearly 10 years, will be in the dock facing 16 charges of fraud, money laundering, corruption and racketeering linked to 783 payments that French company Thales allegedly made to him in connection with the infamous arms deal.
In his latest attempt to stop his criminal case from continuing, Zuma filed a 300-page affidavit asking for a permanent stay of prosecution.
He claims to be a victim of an orchestrated attempt by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to associate him with corruption.
Zuma said the State should have charged him together with his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.
He said the decision not to showed that the prosecution wanted to use Shaik’s trial as a test run for his own prosecution.
He said the rape charge against him in 2005 was part of an effort to rule him out of the ANC’s leadership race in 2007. He wants the NPA to account for using public funds to pursue the case. He was acquitted in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in 2006.
Zuma said the so-called spy tapes show that the NPA was “aligning itself to support” former president Thabo Mbeki’s political ambitions and ruin his.
The spy tapes – transcripts of phone conversations between former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Bulelani Ngcuka – set in motion a protracted court battle between the DA, the NPA and Zuma.
The DA initially went to court to get its hands on the “spy tapes”, and succeeded.
Last week, Thales filed its own application in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to have the prosecution permanently set aside.
It claimed to have been denied a fair trial, because of unreasonable delays, and its right to present and challenge evidence.
Last year, Zuma made presentations to then NDPP Shaun Abrahams about why he shouldn’t be prosecuted. Abrahams decided to prosecute.