Zuma: Corruption case another attempt to tarnish my name

Former president Jacob Zuma claims the corruption case against him is nothing more than an attempt to "prejudice me and declare me synonymous with crime and corruption", Times Select reported.

Zuma filed papers in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Friday, seeking a permanent stay of prosecution, citing "blatant prosecutorial bias".

According to Times Select, Zuma said he had faced "public and media prosecution engineered and orchestrated by the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) itself, the result of which is that my name has already been made to be synonymous with corruption".

Zuma reportedly also said that the rape charge laid against him in 2005 was part of an effort to rule him out of the ANC's leadership race in 2007. He wants the NPA to account for using public funds to pursue the case.

Zuma was acquitted in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in 2006.

Zuma also says the so-called spy tapes show that the NPA "was aligning itself to support former president (Thabo) Mbeki's political ambitions, and to thwart mine".

The spy tapes - transcripts of phone conversations between former Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Bulelani Ngcuka - set in motion a protracted court battle between the DA, the NPA and Zuma.

First, the DA went to court to get its hands on the "spy tapes" and then, after the party's attempt succeeded, it wanted to have former acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe's decision not to prosecute Zuma for corruption declared irrational, News24 reported.

Thales application

This court battle wound down in October 2017 when the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed Zuma's and the NPA's appeal.

This, after Zuma and the NPA made an about-turn and conceded that Mpshe's decision not to prosecute Zuma was irrational.

Zuma then had to make presentations to then NDPP Shaun Abrahams about why he shouldn't be prosecuted. Abrahams decided to prosecute.

Zuma now faces 16 charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering, linked to 783 payments that French company Thales allegedly made to the former president in connection with the arms deal.

Last week, Thales filed its application in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to have the prosecution permanently set aside.

"Thales submits that a permanent stay of prosecution against it constitutes just and equitable constitutional relief in the circumstances," according to court papers.

"In this application Thales' cause of action is the violation of its right to a fair trial on the basis of both its right to have any trial against it begun and concluded without unreasonable delay and its right to adduce and challenge evidence," reads the application.

According to Thales, the company is challenging the validity of the prosecution and the unreasonable delay in the prosecution.

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