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No grounds for criminal charges against Zuma, says ANC

Sapa

The ANC has labelled the Nkandla-related criminal charges laid against President Jacob Zuma by the DA and EFF void acts carried out in desperation.

The ANC has maintained Zuma's innocence of all criminal charges. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

There are no grounds for any criminal charges to be laid against President Jacob Zuma and those filed at police stations are void acts carried out in desperation, the ANC said on Friday.

"We are confident that President Zuma will not be found guilty by any courts on the charges laid by the two parties," said ANC national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.

"Even the police service will have no grounds to pursue the charges against the president based on the outcome and final reports of both the public protector and interministerial Investigation."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) opened criminal cases of corruption against Zuma at different police stations on Thursday, after the release of public protector Thuli Madonsela's report on security upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The report, released on Wednesday, found that Zuma and his family had benefited unduly from R215-million security upgrades to the property, and outstanding work was estimated at R36-million.

Mthembu said the charges were "publicity seeking".

'Clutching at straws'
"The hurried act by some of these parties to lay charges is indicative of desperation by them clutching at straws and willing to do and say anything based on prejudice," he said.

"The president has not been found guilty of corruption, maladministration or impropriety by the two reports."

Mthembu said negative election campaigning by the DA was irresponsible and defamatory. "We have noted the statements they have used continuously on television and other media which are calculated to mislead the public by suggesting that President Zuma used tax monies to build his private dwelling at the expense of the poor."

"This is clearly a desperate and opportunistic character assassination of President Zuma, who is the face of the ANC elections campaign. This is meant to discredit him and the ANC in the eyes of the voters on the eve of the 7 May elections," he said.

DA spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said: "There can be no doubt that this Nkandla palace was built on corruption by the president for the president with our money."

The comment was made while he filed charges against Zuma at the Nkandla police station. – Sapa

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