Published: Wed, May 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

South Africa's former President Zuma back in court over alleged corruption

South Africa's former President Zuma back in court over alleged corruption

Today, Zuma's lawyers accused prosecutors of "mob justice" and say the former South African president has been charged because he is unpopular in the country.

He insisted that although the former president had been complicit in the nearly 16-year delay in the matter appearing before a competent court, the significant delay was caused by the NPA.

"We want to lynch Mr Zuma", Sikhakhane said.

State prosecutors say that Zuma extracted a bribe of almost US$35,000 in exchange for the contract, as "protection money".

Zuma led the crowd in his famous rendition of "Umshini wami", made popular by the ANC's armed wing during South Africa's decades-long struggle against apartheid and which translates as "Bring my machine gun". Zuma has maintained the investigation is nothing more than a large political witch hunt.

He accused prosecutors of being "over-zealous" and asked: "Does he get stripped of human dignity because he is Mr Zuma?"

News24 reports that the company said in a statement it believes it can not obtain a fair trial, maintaining it and its employees' innocence.

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"They themselves (NPA) in their own words, from their own mouths, (said they) were wrong in the way they've dealt with the Zuma prosecution", Masuku told the court, citing the NPA's affidavits.

Thales reiterated that it has no knowledge of any transgressions having been committed by any of its employees in relation to the awarding of the contract in the 1999 Arms Deal.

"Politics is not good".

A separate judicial enquiry into alleged state corruption during Zuma's time as president is under way in Johannesburg.

His successor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, who held onto power when the ANC won national elections this month, has vowed to root out corruption in government and the party.

Mr Sikhakhane argued that the NPA's decision not to charge Mr Zuma along with Mr Shaik in 2005 effectively resulted in him being tried in his absence, as he was not able to cross-examine witnesses.

Zuma, who is thought to have little personal wealth, was ordered by a court a year ago to pay back state funds and cover his own costs in the case, leaving him with large legal bills.

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