Zuma says charges fuelled by hatred

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma says charges laid against him by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were more a result of "political hatred than anything".

Zuma, together with the French arms company Thomsons, is facing charges of corruption relating to South Africa's arms procurement deal.

This is the first time that Zuma has commented directly on the charges.

Speaking to hundreds of people in the Ngome area in Umsinga, northern KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma said the charges were motivated by hate.

"I've never seen so much hatred directed at any one person before. It is clear to me that all charges against me are brewed by political hatred," Zuma said.

"I've been subjected to investigations for six to seven years without stop. It is relentless.

"I said in the past that the NPA should charge me quickly so that we get on with it. But instead they say they are not ready. And then, just as I try to get on with my life, they come up with something," he said.

Zuma said the support of individuals, religious organisations and friends kept him going.

Approached for comment yesterday, NPA spokesman Lucienda Moonieya said she could not respond until Monday.