It was a harrowing week in court for former President Jacob Zuma. He claims to be financially drained while trying to stay out of prison. For that reason, he would not be attending President Ramaphosa inauguration.
Zuma’s reason for snubbing Ramaphosa’s inauguration
As reported by Aphiwe De Klerk from Sowetan Live, Zuma took the stage on Friday afternoon to address his supporters. Zuma said he’d be too busy and explained:
“If you don’t see me in some things, you must know I am busy. Tomorrow, the president is being inaugurated, and there will be dignitaries and presidents. As they are inaugurating him, I am in jail. I don’t have time to go there because I am busy here, trying to stay out of jail.”
It is bad form for a former president to bail out a president-elect’s inauguration. Both Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki was present today, and Mbeki attended Zuma’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2014.
Former President Jacob Zuma in court
Zuma will now have to endure a three-month wait while his application for a stay of prosecution is being deliberated.
The former president is facing charges of money laundering, fraud and racketeering. Zuma allegedly embezzled R4m in the late nineties, with the help of his financial advisor Schabir Shaik.
In addition, Shaik is said to have facilitated an annual bribe of half million from French company Thales; allegedly for protection from the investigation into the arms deal.
Judgment has been reserved for free months, and Zuma is due back in court in October 2019. But if Zuma is awarded a permanent stay of prosecution, the case will be halted indefinitely.
In addition, Zuma’s attorney told Times Live that the former president “has been dirtied over decades” with “false” allegations. David Manthsa added:
“They are many documents that are going to come into light in a few days and weeks in respect that the NPA has been untruthful. We have to make further applications. We will do whatever we have to, to bring those to the attention of our courts.”