Zuma strikes back at NPA

2008-07-24 00:00

Jacob Zuma has reiterated his oft-repeated belief that he is the “victim of improper political motives” and said he has the right to say so even though the National Prosecuting Authority might not “like such criticism”.

Zuma expressed his views in an affidavit filed with the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday in which he hit back at an application by the state to strike out allegations by him that it termed “scandalous, vexatious and irrelevant matter”.

In yet another twist to the tit-for-tat legal battle between Zuma and the NPA ahead of his August 4 hearing , Zuma filed a counter-application to similarly strike “scandalous, vexatious and/or irrelevant” matter from the affidavit of Scorpions special investigator Johan du Plooy, which he claims is prejudicial to him and his legal team.

This includes references to what happened in other court proceedings and allegations of an “improper pattern and course of conduct” by him and his legal team.

Zuma submitted that if successful, he should be entitled to a punitive cost order against the state.

Du Plooy said in his earlier affidavit that the NPA regards Zuma’s allegations of political motives as “completely irrelevant to the issues”.

He said the allegations raised by Zuma in his original affidavit “glibly accuse three successive NDPPs [national directors of public prosecution] of serious unlawful conduct and gross abuse of power, without putting up a shred of evidence other than innuendo, speculation and dark hints at further details to come in subsequent applications”.

He said these allegations tended to bring the NPA and the administration of justice into disrepute.

“I am advised that such allegations are scandalous and vexatious and serve no purpose other than to gratuitously slander the NPA and the officials concerned and to generate self-serving political propaganda,” said Du Plooy.

Zuma said yesterday he denies each of these allegations. “My approach to the prosecution has always been that it has been inspired by improper political motives. It is a part of my case in this application that this explains why I have been deliberately not afforded a hearing.”

He said the state has always been aware of his allegations and cannot now contend they are scandalous, vexatious and irrelevant and bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

“In fact the state has consistently denied these allegations and continues to do so,” he added.

Of Du Plooy’s contention that the NPA did not “leak” information that it was considering bringing new charges against Zuma to coincide with the ANC’s Polokwane conference, but that the information emerged from affidavits filed by the NPA in the Constitutional Court, Zuma said it is clear from media reports that the reports emerged from the NDPP.

“That was the basis, in any event, on which I was questioned on the last day of the Polokwane conference about the prospect of being recharged,” he said.

Zuma further alleges that the state — in pursuing its prosecution of him now — is persisting in “taking its chances”.

He said this is despite the fact that the litigation in the Constitutional Court concerning the legality of search-and seizure-warrants has not been finalised — one of the grounds the trial was struck off the roll by Judge Herbert Msimang in 2006.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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