It’s taken a fair while to get to this point, and we aren’t just referring to the 13 months since the Jacob Zuma trial for corruption officially restarted. It has been 16 years since Msholozi was first called-out for his alleged dodgy dealings with Thales, and after a series of delays and postponements, the former president is now rooted in the dock.
We were last in Pietermaritzburg six months ago, when the case was pushed back to allow JZ’s new legal team and the prosecution to file all their evidence to help sway the bench of judges their way. It would be this new-look defence team that dominated proceedings on Monday, however.
What Jacob Zuma’s defence have said
Muzi Sikhakhane was first up to bat for Jacob Zuma, and the advocate wasted no time in showing us how the team were going to play it this week: The NPA got a verbal battering, and they were accused of undermining the constitution in their pursuit of Jacob Zuma.
Before the case was dismissed from court first time around, former NPA chiefs Bulelani Ngcuka and Leonard McCarthy were caught on tape disparaging Zuma, somewhat harming the prosecution’s argument. This subject came up against, with Sikhakhane blaming the “unconstitutional” NPA for pushing a vendetta against Mr Zuma.
“These transcripts will also reveal that the timing had nothing to do with legal matter, it was politically motivated to affect the then deputy president’s political career. This was an extraordinary violations of the constitution. They discuss what they would hide from the courts during the prosecution of Zuma.”
NPA come in for criticism
Thabani Masuku also flanked Sikhakhane shortly after lunch. In taking the torch from his fellow advocate, he carried on attacking the NPA’s credibility.
In fact, he used the mind-boggling example of their errors in the Nkandla investigation, to summarise how untrustworthy the institution was. Using illegal acts by their client to prove a different point is some bold move…
— Tessa Dooms (@tessie18) May 20, 2019
“Jacob Zuma has had his rights violated”
Masuku finished off the first day of deliberations by claiming that Zuma’s constitutional rights have been violated by the organisation. These guys aren’t so much keeping their cards close to their chest, as much as they are playing with an open deck.
“The NPA in its own affidavit admits to violating Zuma’s constitutional rights and yet does not disclose the constitutional implications of this state organ’s violation of an individual’s rights. This application is not an attack on the integrity of the NPA but a defence of Zuma’s.”
Jacob Zuma eventually addressed the hundreds of supporters who waited outside of court for him all day. He took to a makeshift stage in Pietermaritzburg to thank his fans for their patience. At the time of writing, Msholozi had just began his address. Visit our homepage for more updates on his speech.
Should the judges decide Zuma must face a criminal trial, the case will resume on 15 October 2019.