FULL CIRCLE FOR ZUMA
After years of successfully evading attempts to bring corruption charges against him, the president has been stripped of his ‘spy-tapes defence’. It remains to be seen what move he will come up with next
President Jacob Zuma will have come full circle at the end of November if he once again faces corruption charges ahead of the ANC’S national elective conference. But, 10 years after the Polokwane conference, when Zuma and his then allies were at the height of their collective political power, the landscape has changed in many ways.
The main difference this time is that
Zuma stands no chance of being re-elected as president of the ANC. This is why he needs to ensure that the person who succeeds him in the party is sympathetic to his cause, in the hope that he can again avoid having to face corruption charges.
National director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams has given Zuma until November 30 to make fresh representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on why he should not face charges.
The corruption charges against Zuma were dropped in 2009 by then acting prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe, based on the fact that he believed there was political interference in the decision on when to serve the indictment on
The discussion on the indictment took place ahead of the ANC’S 2007
Polokwane conference, at which Zuma and then president Thabo Mbeki were contesting the party’s presidency. The allegations of a political plot were based on recordings of telephone conversations between then Scorpions boss Leonard Mccarthy, a staunch Mbeki supporter, and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka.
These recordings, known as the spy tapes, partly informed Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges against Zuma, a decision that the high court in Pretoria last year found to be irrational. Back in 2009, the charges were dropped in time for Zuma to be sworn in as president of SA.
The spy tapes came into the spotlight again recently when the supreme court of appeal dismissed a bid by Zuma and the NPA