Infamy! They've all got it in for me, Zuma tells court
Charges against me were nothing but a conspiracy to spoil my ANC leadership chances, he says in court papers
Former president Jacob Zuma says the National Prosecuting Authority should answer to allegations that “public and private funds were used to influence the rape charge” laid against him more than a decade ago – a case he now suggests was part of “concerted efforts to get me convicted of a crime” and rule him out of the ANC’s 2007 leadership race.
Zuma made this argument in his application for a permanent stay of his corruption prosecution, which he says has been defined by political manipulation, undue delay and “blatant prosecutorial bias”. And, he says, all of it was designed “to prejudice me and declare me synonymous with crime and corruption”.
The papers were filed in court on Friday.
“Without due process or court determination of my guilt or otherwise, I have faced public and media prosecution engineered and orchestrated by the NPA itself, the result of which is that my name has already been made to be synonymous with corruption,” Zuma states.
He maintains that the rape case against him – of which he was acquitted – may have been part of a plot to neutralise him as a candidate for the ANC’s leadership race.
Zuma further states that the spy tapes recordings of former national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka discussing the timing of when he would be charged with then Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy “attest to the most grotesque political manipulation and interference ever experienced in the post-apartheid criminal justice system”.
“The spy tapes reveal that Ngcuka continued to influence and/or instruct and/or manipulate McCarthy about the approach to the prosecution of me in order to gain political mileage for Mr Thabo Mbeki in the political contest for the presidency of the ruling party, the African National Congress,” Zuma says.
Zuma says the spy tapes clearly illustrate that the NPA “was aligning itself to support former president Mbeki’s political ambitions, and to thwart mine”.
“There is no better illustration and evidence of the blurring of lines between party and state,” he writes.
Then-acting NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe dropped the corruption prosecution against Zuma on the basis of the spy tapes recordings in 2009, but that decision was successfully challenged in court by the Democratic Alliance. Former NDPP Shaun Abrahams reinstated corruption, fraud, tax evasion and racketeering charges against Zuma in March 2018. Zuma is now seeking to have that prosecution permanently stopped.
Zuma accuses the NPA of “17 years of delay” in pursuing the case against him – “leaving me ... having to recall past events with the normal fallibility that I have in common with other human beings of memory and loss of access to documents and persons immediately involved with my professional life at various stages across the past 17 years”.
The former president further maintains that the “grotesque” political motive for the case against him, which is linked to his allegedly corrupt relationship with his former financial adviser and convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik and his alleged bribe agreement with French arms company Thint/Thales, has been “disguised” as being linked to SA’s multibillion-rand arms deal “despite the fact that I was nowhere near that process”.
His prosecution “commenced on the basis that the arms deal was mired in corruption”, but this “allegation has since been dismissed by the Seriti Commission” which he appointed to investigate corruption in the arms deal.
Zuma and Thint/Thales will return to Court on November 30, when a date will be set for the NPA to respond to their respective permanent stay applications.