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27 Aug 2003 10:53
Deputy President Jacob Zuma is continuing his work programme as usual despite the flurry of public debate around his alleged links to corruption in South Africa’s arms deal.
In a statement on Wednesday his office said Zuma would on Thursday visit the community of KwaNyawo Tribal Authority at Ngwavuma, north of KwaZulu Natal.
“The deputy President will discuss the area’s development with the community,” said a statement from spokesperson Zanele Mngadi.
The statement said the meeting would take the form of a mini-imbizo (great
meeting) and community members “will raise views on service delivery and any other issues”.
Meanwhile the debate around Zuma—who will not face charges for alleged corruption although the Scorpions unit said it had prima facie evidence to justify a case against him—continued.
United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa told SABC SAFM radio on Wednesday: “Deputy President Zuma should step down immediately.
Therefore we don’t need to prove beyond reasonable doubt; Deputy President Zuma has not been cleared.”
“What I suspect has happened here is (national Director of Public Prosecutions) Bulelani Ngcuka, out of respect of the office of the President and the image of the country, restrained his unit when they came to him last week and told him ... we can prosecute him.”
“The onus is now on Deputy President Zuma to go to the High Court to challenge the head of prosecutions to take the case (to court),” said Holomisa. Accusing President Thabo Mbeki of “burying his head in the sand”, Holomisa said a preliminary investigation by a committee headed by a retired judge should look at the prima facie evidence.
Sunday Times editor Mathatha Tsedu said in response on the John Perlman
After Eight debate on Wednesday: “The only way out is for Mr Zuma to be provided to have an opportunity to have his own say (and appear in court).”
If he were to step down as a number of opposition parties have suggested, Zuma would be opening himself up to accusations that “everything that has put against him as an allegation is actually fact”.
Tsedu said Zuma could take South Africa “in his confidence and say in so far as there are allegations against me these are the things that I know and I am sorry about this and that; or he can just stay put as he is doing now, in doing so he drags his own name, the name of the government and the ANC into this mud.”
The ANC said earlier today that that the ANC would not launch an internal investigation into Zuma’s alleged involvement in the arms deal. “There is no internal probe; we will respect the independence of the justice system,” said ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama. - I-Net Bridge
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