Zuma case

2008-01-03 00:00

It is a sign of the prosecution’s confidence that it has decided to proceed with fresh charges against Jacob Zuma without waiting for the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the defence’s challenge on whether or not it can legally claim access to a key document — the original of an encrypted fax — in Mauritius. The case has been set down for trial in the Pietermaritzburg High Court from August 4 to December 12 and a wide array of 18 charges has been specified.

Potential witnesses to be called by the prosecution include high-profile politicians such as Patricia de Lille and Andrew Feinstein as well as retired judge Willem Heath, who once headed up an investigation unit which Zuma, as deputy president of the country, helped to close down.

It is ironic and disturbing that the person due to take over the presidency of this country in 2009 should be facing, in 2008, fraud and corruption charges. The case is still open and nothing is proven but with this cloud looming, not to mention some of the factors that emerged from his rape trial, it would have been best, both for the African National Congress and for the nation as a whole, if Zuma had honourably withheld his name as a candidate when the new ANC president was being elected last month in Polokwane.

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