Mbeki slams judge who accused him of conspiracy to get rid of Zuma

In the latest of his letters, former president Thabo Mbeki criticises retired high court judge Chris Nicholson, who presided over the corruption case against President Jacob Zuma.

Mbeki says Nicholson wrongly accused him and others in his government of a political conspiracy to charge Zuma. 

Mbeki said Nicholson offered no explanation for his September 2008 judgment, in which he dismissed criminal charges against Zuma. He cited a political conspiracy to influence the case by Mbeki and others.

“Neither has an explanation been offered as to why Judge Nicholson acted as he did on the matter of the so-called ‘political meddling’. This was especially puzzling given that Nicholson was an experienced judge with thirteen years of experience by 2008, having been appointed to the bench in 1995.”

In his judgment, Nicholson said the timing of the charges by former acting National Prosecuting Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe was most unfortunate. The charges were laid after Zuma replaced Mbeki as ANC president at the party’s Polokwane conference in December 2007.


“This factor, together with the suspension of NPA head Vusi Pikoli, who was supposed to be independent and immune from executive interference, persuade me that the most plausible inference is that the baleful political influence was continuing,” Nicholson ruled.

Mbeki said Nicholson gave a “judicial stamp of approval” to an allegation that he and others in government were part of a political conspiracy to have the NPA charge Zuma. It was an allegation the ANC’s NEC had rejected, Mbeki said.

He quoted from articles written in “celebration of the Nicholson judgment” by South African Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande and Ranjeni Munusamy, the then communications consultant who ran the Friends of Jacob Zuma website.

Read: No need to lie spread-eagled

He said even those who had spoken out against him, including former Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi and EFF leader Julius Malema, apologised for their statements. – News24

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Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa Associate Leturer and Co-ordinator of the Honors Programme.

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