Zuma: SA could have been run by Mbeki’s puppet president

2015-04-19 15:00

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If President Jacob Zuma’s political enemies had succeeded in having him prosecuted on corruption charges, South Africa would have ended up with a “puppet president” controlled by Thabo Mbeki from Luthuli House.

This is the vision Zuma paints through his attorney, Michael Hulley, in an affidavit filed in the North Gauteng High Court this week.

The affidavit was Zuma’s response to the DA’s application to review the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to drop corruption charges against him.

In the affidavit, Hulley – and by extension Zuma – takes aim at former Scorpions boss, Leonard McCarthy, accusing him of trying to “thwart Zuma’s political ambitions” by relentlessly pursuing criminal charges against him.

McCarthy’s pursuit of Zuma “was designed to detract from Zuma’s presidential prospects”.

The outcome, the Hulley/Zuma affidavit warns, was “that the ANC would have had Mbeki as leader of the ANC and most likely a puppet president of the RSA installed”.

Over 166 pages, Hulley paints a detailed picture of the forces Zuma believes conspired to keep him out of office at all costs, including McCarthy, Bulelani Ngcuka (then national director of public prosecutions) and the media.

Hulley says “there were always a number of prosecutors within the NPA who found?...?Zuma and the politics of the ANC?...?offensive. These individuals would go to extremes to ensure and promote the downfall of Zuma.”

The DA has argued that then acting national director of public prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges against Zuma – based on the spy tapes and Zuma’s confidential representations to Mpshe in 2009 – was flawed. They want the charges reinstated and to offer Zuma his “day in court”.

Hulley, on the other hand, argues that Mpshe did not only look at the spy tapes, but considered the long history of political meddling from the Scorpions and the NPA before making his decision.

Hulley says, contrary to popular belief, Zuma doesn’t want his day in court.

“The myth that Zuma desperately wants to be charged so as to have his day in court has become a mantra of the anti-Zuma camps and the DA,” Hulley says.

In 2003 Zuma called for the NPA to “prosecute him or effectively forever keep their peace”. The NPA’s decision not to charge Zuma at the time alongside his adviser, Schabir Shaik, was, says Hulley, a “Machiavellian twist” designed to harm Zuma by casting doubt on him without giving him the opportunity to clear his name.

Now, Hulley says, it’s too late.

“Zuma is 73 years old. He has spent 10 years in jail on Robben Island.”

In response, the DA issued a statement describing the affidavit as “totally irrational”.

“If there was a conspiracy, why could a competent judge not determine that this justified an acquittal? This would surely have been the correct approach rather than?…?Mpshe’s taking the decision to discontinue on the basis that Zuma was being maliciously prosecuted,” the DA says.

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