New witness for Zuma case
The team pursuing the corruption case against Jacob Zuma has asked a Pretoria lawyer, who helped produce evidence implicating the former president in the 1999 arms deal, to make a sworn statement.
Lead investigator Colonel Johan du Plooy this week approached Ajay Sooklal with the request to avail himself as a witness and to make a statement.
Du Plooy was the lead investigator in the corruption case against Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.
City Press has learnt that the statement will be accompanied by a confirmatory affidavit by Du Plooy, which will serve as a forerunner to the oral testimony when the trial starts later this year. Sooklal confirmed that the Hawks had approached him. He said that in addition to this, two nongovernmental organisations had asked him to testify in the commission of inquiry into state capture. Sooklal’s testimony is key to the state’s case against Zuma, due to his intimate knowledge of how the bribe from French arms company Thales was allegedly paid.
Zuma and his co-accused, Thales, represented by its group head of legal Christine Guerrier, appeared in the Durban High Court on corruption charges on Friday.
City Press learnt that prior to the court appearance, Thales wrote to KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions Moipone Noko to ask that the charges against the company be withdrawn. They asked her to allow the company to justify the request.