NPA denies it paid Khwezi to accuse Zuma
JZ says rape case part of smear campaign
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has denied that it ever made any payments to the woman who accused former president Jacob Zuma of rape – and says she was “protected and housed” by the police in a safe house.
The state was responding to a series of demands by Zuma’s lawyers for information he believes is relevant to his application for a permanent stay of his corruption prosecution.
It has also handed over the “materials relating to the income tax offences” which relate to Zuma’s alleged failures to submit tax returns from 1995 to 2003 and declare income of R2.7m, as well as the alleged evasion of R1.6m in tax.
Zuma settled with Sars after the 2007 indictment against him. But the state’s lead investigator argued to the Constitutional Court that this did not mean he should be let off the hook. “The ‘regularisation’ of his tax affairs after years of delinquency does not exculpate him any more than a thief who repays the stolen money, or a shoplifter who attempts to replace the stolen goods on the shelf after he is caught,” Col Johan du Plooy stated.
The state has further provided the evidence in front of former national director Bulelani Ngcuka when he decided not to put Zuma on trial with his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik in August 2003.
Ngcuka said – while the state believed it had a prima facie corruption case against Zuma – it was unsure whether that case was “winnable”.
Zuma maintains that he “virtually challenged and invited the NPA to charge me and resolve issues of my guilt once and for all in a trial” at that time, and argues Ngcuka’s failure to do so was part of a conspiracy to neutralise him politically.
The NPA will file its response to these and other accusations in the coming months.
In May this year, the Pietermaritzburg high court will hear arguments on why the case against Zuma and French arms company Thales should or should not go ahead.
In 1997, the French arms company scored a R2.6bn contract to provide four navy frigates to SA, as part of the wider R60bn arms deal.
As corruption rumours grew, the state alleges that Thales agreed in 2002 to pay R500,000 to Zuma, then SA’s deputy president, for his “political protection” in any investigation – a deal allegedly brokered by Shaik.
Zuma’s permanent stay application is his last hope of stopping his trial on these charges from proceeding.
He says his prosecution has been designed “to prejudice me and declare me synonymous with crime and corruption”.
“Without court determination of my guilt or otherwise, I have faced public and media prosecution engineered and orchestrated by the NPA itself, the result of which is that my name has already been made to be synonymous with corruption,” he said in court papers.
He accuses the NPA of “17 years of delay …leaving me… having to recall past events with the normal fallibility that I have in common with other human beings of memory …”.
Zuma further maintains that the NPA should answer to allegations that “public and private funds were used to influence the rape charge” laid against him over a decade ago.
Fezeka “Khwezi” Kuzwayo went into hiding after she accused him of rape in 2005. Following Zuma’s acquittal, she fled the country. She died over two years ago.
In court papers Zuma has suggested that the rape case was part of “concerted efforts to get me convicted of a crime” and rule him out of the ANC’s 2007 leadership race.
Jacob Zuma says his name has been made synonymous with corruption.