Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2007-09-15 Reporter: Sapa

DA Welcomes Court Decision on Zuma



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The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Saturday welcomed the Pretoria High Court's decision to reject a bid by former deputy president Jacob Zuma blocking the state from investigating his business activities in Britain. "Zuma and his very expensive legal team, who seem to shadow him around the country, must not further attempt to obstruct, delay and resist the investigations by the state," said DA spokesperson Eddie Trent.

He said Zuma had repeatedly made public statements that a legal proceeding would exonerate him from all suspicions of corruption. The DA now challenged Zuma "to do everything in his power to provide the state with the information they need in order for this case, which has been ongoing for more than two years, to reach its conclusion in court sooner rather than later". If Zuma was innocent, he would seek to assist the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with the investigation process to prove his innocence, Trent said.

This case once again proved that there were no equal opportunities in justice for all South Africans. Those who had unlimited resources available to them would be able to do everything in their power to delay and prolong the judicial process, Trent said. "Those who have no resources will have to make do with that which the state can provide, all the while being subjected to long delays, postponements and other obstacles undermining their access to justice." On Friday, the Pretoria High Court ruled that Zuma may not intervene in an earlier application by the NPA to probe his United Kingdom dealings.

The NPA earlier this year obtained an order according to which it could extend its investigations into Zuma to the UK. The order was obtained without Zuma's knowledge and when he found out he approached the court saying he had a vested interest in the case and wanted to join the case with the aim of preventing it from going ahead. As a result of Friday's decision by the Pretoria High Court, the NPA would now go ahead with its probe in the UK. -- Sapa

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Mail and Guardian.