Timeline: Jacob Zuma gets his day in court

2018-04-06 07:55
Jacob Zuma. (File, AFP)

Jacob Zuma. (File, AFP)

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Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to appear in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday morning in connection with corruption charges.  

In this timeline, read how events unfolded - from the developments that led to corruption allegations against Zuma to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dropping charges against him and then later, reinstating them.

September 9, 1999: Patricia de Lille, now DA mayor of Cape Town but then a PAC MP, tells Parliament the multibillion-rand arms deal could be suspect.

LIVE: Jacob Zuma in court on corruption charges

November 29, 2002: The Mail & Guardian reports Jacob Zuma, then the country's president is being investigated.

August 23, 2003: Former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Bulelani Ngcuka says there is a prima facie case against Zuma, but it can't be won.

September 7, 2003: City Press runs a story headlined: "Was Ngcuka a spy?" about the ANC having had investigated him during the 1980s on suspicion of being a spy. The Hefer Inquiry can't establish this as fact and the claim that he misused the prosecuting authority falls away.

July 25, 2004: Ngcuka resigns.

June 2, 2005: Zuma's financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, is found guilty on two counts of fraud and one of corruption.

June 14, 2005: Former president Thabo Mbeki says he has "released" Zuma from his position as deputy president. Ngcuka's wife, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, is made deputy president.

May 8, 2006: Zuma is acquitted on a charge of rape.

September 25, 2007: Ngcuka's successor, Vusi Pikoli, is suspended by Mbeki in a row over the arrest of police commissioner Jackie Selebi. Mokotedi Mpshe becomes acting NDPP.

December 18, 2007: Zuma beats Mbeki to the post of president of the ANC.

December 28, 2007: Zuma is charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

May 2008: Scorpions boss, Leonard McCarthy, claimed by Zuma's lawyers to be the man driving the prosecution against him, resigns and leaves for a job overseas.

September 12, 2008: Judge Chris Nicholson grants Zuma's application to have corruption charges dismissed and agrees there are signs of a conspiracy.

September 20, 2008: Mbeki stands down as president. Kgalema Motlanthe holds the fort until the national elections in 2009.

January 12, 2009: The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) sets aside Nicholson's judgment and Zuma's legal team has to go back to the drawing board.

February 10, 2009: Zuma's lawyers start representations to the NDPP to present new reasons not to go ahead with the prosecution.

February 20, 2009: Oral representations are made to the NDPP.

April 6, 2009: Mpshe announces that charges against Zuma will be dropped. He reads transcripts of phone conversations between McCarthy and Ngcuka, who at one stage says to McCarthy: "You made my day," after finding out that Zuma will be re-charged.

These phone conversations are part of the so-called "spy tapes".

April 7, 2009: The case against Zuma is withdrawn in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban.

May 9, 2009: Zuma is sworn in as president.

The DA then goes to court to have Mpshe's decision set aside, but the application was dismissed by the North Gauteng High Court.

Following a DA's appeal to the SCA in 2011, the NPA is ordered to hand over the reduced record of its decision to drop charges against Zuma in 2009, including the spy tapes, to the DA.

But the NPA fails to hand over the tapes, after the State Attorney said that it was contingent on Zuma's lawyers not objecting on the grounds of confidentiality.

Zuma's lawyers did object, so the NPA did not hand over the record.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, the DA fights for the release of the tapes, facing ongoing delays from Zuma's lawyers.

The DA lodges applications in the High Court to attempt to force the NPA to comply with the SCA order, but this leads to further appeals from Zuma's legal team.

August 18, 2014: Zuma's legal team falls apart at the SCA, conceding that they have no argument for keeping the tapes out of the hands of the DA.

Ten days later, the SCA dismisses Zuma's application to prevent the release of the tapes.

April 29, 2016: A full bench of judges in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria overturns the NPA's decision to drop the corruption charges against Zuma that related to fraud, racketeering and money laundering.

Both the NPA and Zuma turn to the SCA after the High Court denies them direct access for an appeal.

October 13, 2017: The SCA dismisses Zuma and the NPA's application to appeal a High Court ruling that the dropping of the corruption charges against him by Mpshe was "irrational".

January 31, 2018:  Zuma submits his representations on why the charges should be dropped.

March 16, 2018:  Embattled NPA boss Shaun Abrahams announces that the charges against Zuma will be reinstated. He says Zuma will be prosecuted for one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud. 

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Read more on:    npa  |  jacob zuma  |  corruption allegations  |  zuma corruption trial

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