Memo: Zuma involved in 'pervasive' corruption scheme

A letter written by NPA prosecutor Billy Downer (third from left) to then acting director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe, has been obtained by Beeld newspaper. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)

A letter written by NPA prosecutor Billy Downer (third from left) to then acting director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe, has been obtained by Beeld newspaper. (Lisa Skinner, M&G)

Beeld reported on Friday that it had obtained a memo written by senior National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) prosecutor Billy Downer, who was heading the corruption case against the president, to then acting director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe.

The memo, sent in 2009 a month before charges against Zuma were dropped, said there was a strong case against him and it would be revealed that the ruling party was meant to be an “eternal beneficiary” in an “extended scheme of corruption”.

Downer stressed that the alleged corruption between Zuma and his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was about far more than just the controversial arms deal.

Downer wrote it was an “overriding and pervasive scheme of corruption”, designed to be of extraordinary duration and ultimately to keep Zuma indefinitely on the payroll of the company of his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik. Both Zuma and the ANC would benefit from this scheme.

“The mode of conferring benefits on Zuma extended to the ANC and Zuma in his capacity as the highest office-bearer of the ANC which was also to be an eternal beneficiary in the extended scheme of corruption,” Downer reportedly wrote.

“To accede to the representations in a summary manner would abandon all the ground won by the expense of extraordinary effort and resources and with the approval of the highest courts in our country. 

“A retreat for no good reason at this stage would not be explicable, understandable or defensible.”

He said the Scorpions investigation originated in the arms deal probe, but the ultimate investigation and the basis of the indictment was only fractionally related to the deal.

Spy tapes
The Democratic Alliance is reviewing spy tapes documents handed to it by the NPA, which are believed to contain information about the decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma.

The documents requested includes a memo highlighted this weekend by former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka, who told the Sunday Times that it revealed the possible motivation for a decision by the NPA’s boss at the time, Mokotedi Mpshe, to drop 700 charges of corruption against the president. 

Mpshe announced on April 6 2009 that the charges against Zuma would be dropped because there was a political conspiracy against him.

Shaik was found guilty of corruption and fraud in 2005. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail, but served only two years before being released on medical parole.

 

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