Zuma a ‘victim of mob justice’ — Sikhakhane

Former president Jacob Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution is underway in the high court in Pietermaritzburg, with his legal team arguing that his prosecution on corruption charges is politically motivated.

Zuma’s counsel, Muzi Sikhakhane SC, has told the court that Zuma was “a victim of mob justice” on the part of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), whose then leadership wanted him jailed to end his political career.

Zuma and French arms dealer Thint have gone to court to have the case against them, based on a series of payments to Zuma by his former financial advisor, Schabir Shaik, halted.

Shaik was jailed for 15 years over the payments, one of which included a R500 000 payment from Thint for protection from investigators probing South Africa’s controversial arms deal, but was later released on medical parole based on his suffering a terminal illness.

Sikhakhane told Judge Jerome Mnguni the case against Zuma had been manipulated from the beginning by then Scorpions head advocate Leonard McCarthy and then national director of public prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka.

Sikhakhane said that Ngcuka was a self-confessed “disciple” and political ally of former president Thebo Mbeki and had decided to run a ‘clandestine’ investigation into Zuma.

Ngcuka had ignored advice from prosecutor Billy Downer SC that Zuma and Shaik should be charged together over the alleged bribes, instead proceeding with charges against Shaik to eventually get a conviction of Zuma, the “big fish” in the case.

Sikhakhane said he would use the so-called spy-tapes to show malfeasance on the party of McCarthy, who had referred to judges as ‘’fucking idiots’’ and to Zuma as ‘’that fool.’

Sikhakhane said the court needed to forget who Zuma was and view him as “a son and a father” whose legal rights had been violated by the NPA, whose ‘pattern of behaviour’ pointed to a conspiracy to nail his client.

Zuma sat next to the rest of his legal team while Sikhakhane delivered his opening address to the application, which will be heard until Friday.

A number of Zuma’s supporters, — including uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association boss Carl Niehaus, former finance minister Des van Rooyen and KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda — were in court for the application, as were his sons, Duduzane and Edward.

Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama was also in attendance, as was former ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Super Zuma.

Outside the court several thousand supporters have turned up to show support for Zuma, who is expected to address them at the end of the day’s proceedings.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper

Not a sweet deal, Mister

Mister Sweet workers say they will not risk their health, and the lives of others, to continue producing and packaging confectionaries

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world