Scorpions Say No Reason 'At This Stage' to Consider Prosecuting Deputy President
There was no reason at this stage to reconsider a decision not to prosecute Deputy President Jacob Zuma, Scorpions spokesman Sipho Ngwema said yesterday.
On whether Zuma was still under investigation for corruption, he told the Cape Times: "That phase of the investigation is stopped."
"We are on record as saying that. If, however, there are new developments that necessitate us to reconsider our decision, then we will do that. At this stage there are no reasons to reconsider that possibility."
He was speaking after weekend reports that further court papers in the trial of Zuma's financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, would show that the deputy president was party to alleged corruption.
Last year the Scorpions decided not to prosecute Zuma, saying controversially that while there was a prima facie case against the deputy president, chances of a successful prosecution were slim.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that a top secret forensic report, to be submitted as evidence, would decide Zuma's fate.
It allegedly proved an extensive financial relationship between the deputy president and Shaik, and was also expected to blow the lid on 10 other politicians and officials who were allegedly bankrolled by Shaik in return for business favours.
Ngwema said the Scorpions were totally focused on Shaik and the trial.
"Schabir Shaik is the accused. We are not intending to add anyone else to the list at the moment. Our major focus is on the trial at hand. Whether there is anything or anyone else is premature," Ngwema said.
However, should evidence emerge that pointed in the direction of more people, they would not hesitate to act.
"I am not saying if we get information we will throw it away, we will act, but when it is appropriate to do so," he said. Shaik's trial begins in the Durban High Court on October 11.
Zuma again proclaimed his innocence yesterday. Speaking in Cradock, a visibly irritated Zuma told SABC news: "I was not given an opportunity to go to court to be charged."
"I said my bit at the right time ... In a sense it is very funny situation. Ask those who have a story to tell. I don't have a story to tell at this time," he said.
Zuma's office remained tight lipped.
With acknowledgements to Karima Brown and the Cape Times.