Publication: Sunday Independent
Zuma's 'Roller-Coaster' Ride Continues
hours after Jacob Zuma was backed as Cosatu's choice for ANC president, his
legal team will battle on Friday to stop the state from furthering its fraud and
corruption investigation against him.
Zuma is not expected to appear at
his seventh court battle *1 with the National
Prosecuting Authority in 2007, though he has come under fire for having
suggested that the state's efforts to gather evidence for his possible
prosecution were aimed at casting him as an "accused person" in the months
before the crucial ANC leadership battle.
Scorpions prosecutors have
reacted with fury to what they have described as
Zuma's scandalous, gratuitous and unwarranted
accusations of dishonesty and political engineering against them, asking that he be
punished for the allegations with a hefty legal bill.
It has been a
roller-coaster week for Zuma, who was the subject of a Congress of SA Trade
Unions resolution supporting him as ANC president on Thursday, exactly seven
days after his legal attempts to intervene in the state's probing of his
financial affairs in the UK met with failure.
Pretoria High Court Judge
Willem van der Merwe ruled against an application brought by him to intervene in
the state's request to obtain information from banks and lawyers in the United
Kingdom. That information is believed to relate to if and how an alleged bribe
was paid to Zuma by French arms company Thint.
The ruling will put Zuma's
legal team very much on the back foot on Friday
morning, as it tries to stop the National Prosecuting Authority from getting its
hands on 14 Mauritian documents needed for his and French arms company Thint's
possible corruption prosecution.
The state claims its efforts to secure
the Mauritian documents are part of the marshalling of evidence it needs before
it can decide whether to recharge Zuma and Thint for corruption.
disputed documents include a diary entry that allegedly notes a meeting at which
convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik brokered a R500 000 bribe to Zuma from Thint
in exchange for protection from a potentially damaging arms deal
It is understood that the Appeal Court's response to Zuma's and
Thint's efforts to stop the letter of request from being issued to the Mauritian
authorities could influence the decision should he decide to appeal against the
UK request ruling.
• This article was originally published on page 5 of
Mercury on September 21, 2007
With acknowledgements to
*1 The 7th court battle - all at
the South African taxpayer's expense.
And this is just the warm-up