Publication: Cape Argus
Reporter: Karyn Maughan
Zuma Coy on Conspiracy Claims
Zuma has backed off from his explosive claims of political conspiracy, theft and
dishonesty against the state - but angry prosecutors at the Supreme Court of
Appeal in Bloemfontein yesterday were having none of it.
counsel, Kemp J Kemp SC, steered away from directly
addressing the ANC deputy president's sworn statements that the state's fraud
and corruption investigation had been "engineered" to paint him as an accused
criminal in the run-up to the ANC leadership race, the state insisted the
Supreme Court "censure" him for the claims.
Counsel for the state Guido
Pentzhorn SC also contended that the reason neither Zuma nor French arms company
Thint had pursued their allegations that senior state advocate Billy Downer SC
had "stolen" copies of documents later used to convict Zuma's former financial
adviser Schabir Shaik of fraud and corruption, was because such claims had "no basis".
"This is a high-profile
case," Pentzhorn said. "Such claims constitute an unjustified slur … the court should comment on this to
ensure that it doesn't happen again."
Kemp did not respond to the
state's punitive costs order request, but counsel for Thint Peter Hodes
"There is no merit in the state's sensitivity," Hodes
said, after earlier stating that Thint would neither "press"
*1 its claims of impropriety against Downer nor
abandon *1 them.
Zuma and Thint are attempting to appeal against
a Durban High Court ruling that allows the Scorpions to take a letter of request
to Mauritius to obtain the originals of the 14 documents used to convict Shaik -
which include Thint representative Alain Thethard's (sic - Thetard) diary.
This diary contains an entry of a meeting between Zuma, Shaik and Thint,
during which the Durban High Court found Shaik had solicited a R500 000 bribe
from Thint for Zuma, in exchange for his protection from a damaging arms deal
With acknowledgement to Karyn Maughan
and Cape Argus.
*2 Insignificant and contemptible.