Scorpions reveal new Zuma evidence
New allegations against African National Congress (ANC) deputy president Jacob Zuma have been included in an affidavit before the Constitutional Court, South African Broadcasting Corporation news reported on Friday.
Johan du Plooy, a senior special investigator for the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (known as the Scorpions), said investigations had uncovered substantial new evidence against Zuma, who is due this weekend in Polokwane for the ANC’s 52nd national congress.
Jacob Zuma told the public broadcaster: “Allegations don’t mean the man is guilty until the court says the person is guilty. Whether people are worried about it or not is a different matter. If I’m taken to court and the judge says ‘Zuma, we find you guilty’ as I walk out of court I will say to the ANC ‘I’m stepping down’”.
The affidavit is in response to an application to the Constitutional Court by Zuma and French arms company Thint to appeal the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling that warrants for search-and-seizure raids obtained by the Scorpions were valid.
Zuma and his lawyer Michael Hulley’s premises were raided by the Scorpions on August 18 2005. The raids were carried two months after Judge Hilary Squires convicted Zuma’s former confidante and financial adviser Schabir Shaik on two counts of corruption and one count of fraud in the Durban High Court.
The corruption charges related to Shaik’s attempt to solicit a R500 000-a-year bribe from French arms manufacturing giant Thales International (formerly Thomson CSF) for Zuma.
The state is also seeking documents from Mauritius, including the 2000 diary of Alain Thetard, the former chief executive of Thales International’s local subsidiary Thint, which reportedly details a meeting in March 2000 between him, Zuma and Shaik.
In papers filed with the court in November, Hulley said said the search-and-seizure warrants gave permission for documents related to the investigations into Zuma to be seized, but that the problem was the warrants never “remotely described” the investigation.
Such a vagueness in the warrants “thus allowed on the face of it, a general ransacking of the premises targeted”.
Hulley went on to point out that the “judicial process” was equally divided over the raids.
“The court of first instance [the Durban High Court] and the two judges in the SCA found for the applicants herein; three judges of the SCA found for the respondents.
“The outcome in the SCA has simply demonstrated that the issues are contentious and of principle. It is thus clear also that there are reasonable prospects of success on appeal.”
Affidavit details payments
The Shaik trial uncovered 229 payments to Zuma.
The affidavit said the number of payments now stands at 354. This means the full amount received by Zuma was R4-million, compared to the R1,2-million uncovered in the Shaik trial.
The Shaik trial heard of four instances in which Shaik benefited from his relationship with Zuma. The new evidence suggested an additional 28 instances, bringing the number to 32 instances.
The affidavit further claims that Zuma fraudulently failed to declare this income to the South African Revenue Service. The affidavit also alleged that Zuma received funds from other sources.