Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2003-09-09 Reporter: Sapa

Upbeat Zuma Won't Step Down



Mail and Guardian

Date 2003-09-09



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Deputy President Jacob Zuma appeared in a upbeat mood on Tuesday when he faced questions by MPs in the National Council of Provinces, saying there was no reason for him to step down from his position.

Zuma has been dogged by controversy since National Director of Public Prosecution Bulelani Ngcuka announced that Zuma would not face prosecution for anything related to the multimillion-rand arms deal, despite there being prima facie evidence against him.

The deputy president has accused Ngcuka of finding him guilty of corruption without having the necessary evidence.

Opposition political parties last month asked Zuma to step down following allegations that Durban businessman Schabir Shaik paid him nearly R1,2-million between 1995 and last year.

It is alleged that most payments can be traced back to arms-deal beneficiaries.

On Tuesday Zuma appeared relaxed and laughed when asked if he was going to step down.

"As an ordinary citizen you are presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.

Statements made by Ngcuka did not warrant him stepping down from his position as deputy president.

"Taking what he [Ngcuka] said -- that there is no case to prosecute me, a prima facie case does not warrant any standing down of any kind," he said to applause.

Asked if he as leader of the moral regeneration programme was leading by example, a chuckling Zuma said he was.

"I have lead by example when I came to any capacity of leadership and I am still leading by example," he said.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and the Mail & Guardian.