... and Mbeki denies interfering

Ido lekota

Ido lekota

Former president Thabo Mbeki says he has never interfered in the prosecution of ANC president Jacob Zuma.

"Over the years, we have consistently assured the nation that at no point did the president of the republic or any member of the executive, instructed, encouraged, aided or sanctioned by the president interfere in the case of Jacob Zuma.

"Personally, I wish to reiterate that at no stage did I interfere or contemplate interfering in the case," said Mbeki in a statement yesterday.

On Monday the NPA withdrew the charges against Zuma citing interference by former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka in his prosecution.

The two are believed to have interfered in the case to support Mbeki in his leadership tussle with Zuma

NPA acting head Mokotedi Mpshe quoted transcripts of telephonic conversations between McCarthy and Ngcuka in which they discussed how to manipulate the charging of Zuma.

Mokotedi said some of the taped conversations made reference to Mbeki. He, however, said the NPA could not prove that Mbeki was personally involved in the plot.

Yesterday Mbeki said the speculations that he was involved in the conspiracy against Zuma was "unfounded".

He said he was hopeful the investigation by the Inspector General of Intelligence into the authenticity of the "spy tapes" containing the conversation between the alleged conspirators would clarify the matter.

"Hopefully his report will not only shed light on this matter, but will also assist our government to deal with a practice that should cause any intelligence agency, government and nation grave concern.

"However, I wish to state that whatever intercepts may exist will not prove any political interference on my part, since none took place," said Mbeki.

He said anyone who had evidence [of political interference on my part] should hand over such information to the police.