[DEBATE] : (Fwd) State case against JZ
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Fri Dec 21 08:16:59 GMT 2007
NPA poised to prosecute Zuma
21 December 2007
The investigations into new ANC president now complete.
POLOKWANE (Sapa) - The National Prosecuting Authority is closer to
making a decision on whether or not to go ahead with renewed corruption
charges against ANC president Jacob Zuma, spokesman Tlali Tlali said on
"We are ready to make a final decision. The investigations have been
carried out," he said.
The charges, thrown out of court last year without a hearing, centre on
his relationship with businessman and struggle comrade Schabir Shaik,
who was found guilty in 2005 of soliciting an arms company bribe for
Zuma and jailed for an effective 15 years.
President Thabo Mbeki sacked Zuma as deputy president soon after the
Shaik verdict, sparking massive support for Zuma and open criticism of
Mbeki, who was ousted as ANC leader at its national conference in
Polokwane on Tuesday.
Initial corruption charges were dropped against Zuma last year as the
state said it wasn't ready to prosecute him, causing a massive outcry.
The NPA's Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), known as the
Scorpions has come under criticism for dragging the matter out and
leaving a cloud hanging over Zuma's head.
Zuma is currently challenging aspects of the search and seizure raids
related to the investigation against him, in the Constitutional Court.
The NPA filed answering affidavits two days after the court's deadline
but have applied for the late filing to be condoned, said Tlali.
Tlali could not say when the decision would be finalised -- but when
asked how the NPA's latest announcement would be different from previous
announcements in the stop-start case, Tlali said: "Things are not what
they were then."
Papers filed last week in the constitutional court by the National
Director of Public Prosecutions, suggest confidence in its ability to
successfully prosecute Zuma.
Senior investigator at the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO),
Johan du Plooy said in an answering affidavit dated December 13 that
Zuma and Thint companies have little chance of successfully contesting
the validity of search warrants carried out in 2005.
"Even if the court were to hold that the search warrants or searches
were deficient it can and should make an order preserving the evidence
obtained, so that it is available for a future prosecution.
"The state's transgressions if any, were legal-technical - for example,
obtaining search warrants which are found to be vague or overbroad in
some respects," said du Plooy.
He said the scope of a possible case against Zuma had grown, due to new
"The new evidence obtained during and after the Shaik trial, though as
yet untested in a trial (unlike the old evidence) is substantial and
affects the essence of any future prosecution.
"The extent and gravity of the charges has grown compared to the two
charges of corruption and the fraud charge (with alternatives) on which
Mr Shaik was convicted."
Du Plooy said previously it seemed Zuma received payments from Shaik and
Nkobi companies up to September 2002 of around R1.2 million.
"The new documents have revealed that the alleged corrupt payments
continued to at least June 2005 in the aggregate amount of R4,072,499.85
for the whole period of 1995 to June 2005."
He said new documents also indicated that there were 125 more payments
to Zuma made than originally presented as evidence in the Shaik trial.
"Further substantial payments totalling more than R800,000 had not been
discovered on the basis of the old documents."
Du Plooy said evidence allegedly indicated Zuma had not declared a
taxable income of about R2.8 million and had allegedly also evaded
taxation on over a million rand over the period 1995 to 2004.
"The accumulation of all the new evidence obtained as a result of the
2005 searches and the further investigation pursuant to the new
documents and perspectives, together with the consequent re-analysis of
the old documents and evidence, provides a firm basis for the
institution of a prosecution," said Du Plooy.
"This is not a run of the mill case. it is vast," he said in the affidavit.
The ANC's newly elected deputy Kgalema Motlanthe said during the
ANC's national conference in Polokwane, that the possibility of renewed
charges against Zuma were very difficult for the party.
"The issue of comrade Jacob Zuma facing fresh charges is very difficult
to deal with, for the simple reason that many people can face
allegations at some point or the other," he said.
"The prosecution will have a second bite at him and we will see how that
pans out," he said.
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