How Zuma tried to get off
Former president Jacob Zuma is adamant that he did nothing wrong‚ and argued that he had been targeted for prosecution‚ that his right to a fair trial was abused and that he was subjected to "irrational decisions" by the most senior of officials at the National Prosecuting Authority.
On top of this‚ Zuma also claimed he didn't have the “requisite intention” to commit any of the 16 charges he is accused of.
This is according to NPA boss Shaun Abrahams‚ who announced on Friday that he felt there were "reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution" of the former head of state on charges of racketeering‚ two of corruption‚ one of money laundering and 12 of fraud.
Abrahams said that Zuma had argued in representations why he shouldn't face charges - which were submitted on January 31 – saying that he would‚ essentially‚ be unfairly prosecuted.
"Mr Zuma’s representations‚ broadly speaking‚ largely relate to a prosecution characterised by prosecutorial manipulation‚ impropriety‚ fair trial abuses‚ prosecutorial misconduct‚ deliberate leaking of information to the media‚ and irrational decisions made by various national directors and/or acting national directors of public prosecutions‚ along with inexplicable delays for approximately 15 years in bringing his matter to trial. Mr Zuma‚ in addition‚ disputes all allegations against him and records that he lacked the requisite intention to commit any of the crimes listed in the indictment‚" he said.
Abrahams added that Zuma put the blame on the NPA.
"These allegations Mr Zuma firmly places at the door of the National Prosecuting Authority‚ some former national directors of public prosecutions‚ acting national directors‚ some in the leadership of the NPA and some prosecutors and investigators."
But despite this‚ Abrahams said these allegations had to be tested in court - a statement which came just moments before he would announce that Zuma would face charges.
"On the facts of this matter‚ and in the interests of transparency‚ the interests of the administration of justice‚ and the interests of the National Prosecuting Authority‚ I am of the view that a trial court would be the most appropriate forum for these issues to be ventilated and to be decided upon.
"After consideration of the matter‚ I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Mr Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment served on Mr Zuma prior to the termination of the matter. As a result‚ Mr Zuma’s representations are unsuccessful."