Good morning bloggers - my apologies for no blog yesterday, thank you Eskom for no electricity for in excess of 12 hours!
Tisk, tisk! Seems that all the 'big guns' and and all the posturing had no effect on Zuma after all - just a smoke screen to get the rest of us to 'buy into' the concept that something was in fact being done about Zuma's corruption, when in reality - nothing has happened! Shame on you all!
Zuma's claims lambasted by 'big guns'
August 16 2006 at 05:03AM
The state has brought out the big guns in its battle against Jacob Zuma. The current national director of public prosecutions, a former minister of justice, the former national director of public prosecutions, and the Scorpions' boss have all slammed the ex-deputy president. The four men - Vusi Pikoli, Penuell Maduna, Bulelani Ngcuka and Leonard McCarthy - were replying by affidavit in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to the application made by Zuma and by Thint, a French arms manufacturer, that the charges against them - corruption and fraud against Zuma, corruption against Thint - be struck off the roll.
Zuma and Thint brought their applications on July 31 in response to the state's application for the trial to be postponed. Trial Judge Herbert Msimang ordered, however, that affidavits in support of the state's response to Zuma and Thint be entered into the court file by Tuesday - and that the state respond on September 5 to the Zuma and Thint applications.
Pikoli said he unequivocally rejected Zuma's claims that the charges against Zuma had been fuelled by a political conspiracy; that Pikoli had in some way colluded with the president about charging Zuma; and that Zuma had been dismissed from the deputy presidency because of the charges brought against him by Pikoli. He said he had decided to charge Zuma following the findings in the trial of Durban businessman Schabir Shaik that Shaik and Zuma had had "a generally corrupt relationship". Among the reasons, Pikoli said, for his decision to charge Zuma was that he was aware that the finding in the Shaik trial "might affect the perception of foreign governments (regarding) South Africa and could even impact on the economy".
Pikoli said he was also aware that Zuma had made repeated calls to have "his day in court" - and he therefore thought it fair to oblige him in this regard. Pikoli said he told the president that he had decided to charge Zuma on June 20, 2005 because he felt it was his duty to do so, given that Zuma had been deputy president (until June 14). Pikoli said he had had no discussions whatsoever with the president about Zuma during a trip to Chile from June 6-10. Pikoli said Zuma had "effectively branded President Thabo Mbeki a liar". He said Zuma, by accusing Mbeki of having fired him because Pikoli wanted to prosecute him, and not because of the Shaik trial finding, was saying that Mbeki had lied to the nation on June 14 2005 when he dismissed Zuma. "I challenge Zuma," said Pikoli, "to pertinently state that the president lied to parliament and to spell out whether or not he asserts that the president is also a party to the alleged conspiracy against him."
Maduna said he wanted to deal firstly with a "theme that resonates throughout (Zuma's) affidavit" - that he (Zuma) had been targeted to destroy his reputation and "political role-playing ability". Maduna said this was not true. He said Zuma had offered no facts to bolster his allegation but had relied instead on "rumours, press reports, speculation and innuendo". Maduna said that initially Zuma had blamed him (Maduna) and Ngcuka for being responsible for plotting against him, but later, during his rape trial, blamed Ngcuka and Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils. "This serves," he said, "to demonstrate the opportunistic and squalid nature of (Zuma's) allegations." Regarding Thint, and the claims by its managing director, Pierre Moynot, that he believed that following a meeting with Maduna and Ngcuka in April 2004, Thint would not be prosecuted in connection with the arms deal, Maduna said the approach for a meeting had come from Thint.
Maduna also said he was amazed that Thint had chosen to detail confidential and privileged discussions in its affidavit. Maduna said he had also held confidential discussions with Thint's counsel, Kessie Naidu SC, about the infamous encrypted fax and its author, Alain Thetard. "The contents of the discussion (with Naidu)... were to be strictly confidential and I have to date respected this confidentiality. I am advised (however) that I would be within my rights to divulge the contents of this conversation in the light of the selective disclosure (by Thint). (But) I have decided not to descend to that level." Maduna said that in his view Thetard's second statement regarding the encrypted fax (that it was only Thetard's "loose" thoughts about separate issues) had been a "cynical attempt to sabotage the state's case" - and that if the state had known this was what Thetard was going to dish up, it would never have agreed to drop charges in the Shaik trial.
Ngcuka said Zuma's claim that he was the victim of a political conspiracy was inaccurate and merely a ploy "to deflect (people) from the seriousness of the charges which (Zuma) is facing". "The irony," said Ngcuka, "is that, far from abusing my powers in order to harm Zuma's reputation, I did everything within my powers to protect it". Ngcuka added that, when he was national director of public prosecutions, and heard that the team probing Shaik had uncovered evidence implicating the deputy president in corruption, it had come as an "unpleasant revelation" to him. "The decisions which I was subsequently forced to make were difficult, unpleasant and taken at great personal cost to myself and my family," said Ngcuka.
McCarthy said Zuma's "insults and slurs on the manner in which the state has conducted the investigation and prosecution of this case are scurrilous and utterly unfounded".
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on August 16, 2006