Timeline: How Zuma beat corruption charges

By Drum Digital
01 March 2016

A brief timeline of the events that led to allegations against President Jacob Zuma and the subsequent dropping of charges against him.

9 September 1999: Patricia De Lille, now DA mayor of Cape Town but then a Pan Africanist Congress MP, tells Parliament the multi-billion rand arms deal could be suspect.

29 November 2002: The Mail & Guardian reports Jacob Zuma is being investigated (Zuma was not president yet).

23 August 2003: Former National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka says there is a prima facie case against Zuma, but it can't be won.

7 September 2003: City Press runs a story headlined: 'Was Ngcuka a spy?' saying the ANC had investigated him during the '80s on suspicion of being a spy. The Hefer Inquiry can't establish this and the claim that he misused the prosecuting authority falls away.

25 July 2004: Ngcuka resigns.

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

14 June 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.

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

25 September 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.

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

28 December 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.

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

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

12 January 2009: The Supreme Court of Appeals sets aside Nicholson's judgment and Zuma has to go back to the drawing board.

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

20 February 2009: Oral representations made to the NDPP.

6 April 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". The DA is asking the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday for a review application of the decision to drop the charges against Zuma, arguing it was an irrational decision.

7 April 2009: The case against Zuma is withdrawn in the Durban High Court.

9 May 2009: Zuma is sworn in as president.Source: News24

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