JZ 783 – President Jacob Zuma will be having a busy week in two separate courts, as he battles with the Democratic Alliance (DA) on two separate cases.
The court cases will kick off on Tuesday when the High Court in Pretoria will hear the DA’s application for Zuma to implement the recommendation of former public protector Thuli Madonsela. The case is expected to continue on Wednesday.
Madonsela had recommended that the president should establish a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture. The case is expected to continue on Wednesday.
Then on Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear an application brought by Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), for leave to appeal.
President Zuma and the NPA had filed an application after a high court ruled that the decision to drop the 738 corruption charges against him was “irrational and should be reviewed”.
The DA has been rooting for DA to immediately stand trial for the corruption charges which were dropped by then acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Mokotedi Mpshe. The 783 charges include that of fraud‚ corruption‚ racketeering and money laundering.
The blue-color party also pointed out in its heads of argument that the president’s and the NPA’s requests for leave to appeal lack merit and should, therefore, be dismissed with costs.
Over the years, Zuma has been trying to fight-off the 783 charges of corruption against him after the Pretoria High Court reinstated the charges in 2016. A High Court in Durban had dismissed the charges in 2009.
In June 2016, the Pretoria High Court refused to grant the president and the NPA leave to appeal to fight the charges, based on lack of merit.
Recently, an attempt by the African National Congress (ANC) to deal with the situation failed woeful. The party had suggested that the president be granted an amnesty but the DA disagreed, saying that an amnesty would be tantamount to an insult to South Africans.
The opposition party also argued that Zuma’s 783 charges can’t receive any amnesty as it will set the precedent that powerful politicians deserve special treatment.
The case against Zuma stems from his time as deputy president between 1999 and 2005. During this period, he allegedly received an annual bribe of £40,000 from the local subsidiary of a French defence company in return for shielding it from an official investigation into the arms deal.
He was also accused of accepting payments totalling £280,000 from Schabir Shaik – a businessman who then acted as his financial adviser. Mr Zuma allegedly used his influence to give Shaik contracts and favours.
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The dropping the case in 2009, cleared the way for him to win the presidency. Following a court ruling that the charges be reviewed, President Zuma, who has always protested his innocence, would face a long prison term if convicted.