FULL CIR­CLE FOR ZUMA

Financial Mail - - FEATURE - Genevieve Quin­tal and Claudi Mailovich quin­talg@busi­nesslive.co.za; mailovichc@busi­nesslive.co.za

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

Zuma.

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

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