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Extract: Zuma Exposed

2012-11-15 08:42

Adriaan Basson reveals everything the president does not want you to know as the ANC’s Mangaung conference draws near. Read an extract from Zuma Exposed.

In a fascinating and strangely under-reported address delivered at an international law conference a year later, Advocate Billy Downer, who headed the prosecutions of Shaik and Zuma, hit out at three consecutive heads of the NPA for the fact that Zuma’s case never came to court.

Downer, a Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, was part of the original Arms Deal team assembled by Ngcuka. He was specifically responsible for the Thales/Zuma leg of the investigation and worked closely with Scorpions investigators as part of the unit’s prosecutor-led investigation style. When Advocate Gerda Ferreira resigned from the Scorpions, Downer took charge of the entire Arms Deal probe.

In a speech to the Middle Temple conference in October 2010, Downer revealed that he and his team had been overruled three times, by Ngcuka, Pikoli and Mpshe.

* * *

In 2003, Ngcuka announced at a public press conference that, although there was a prima facie case against Zuma, he would not be prosecuted. The case was not winnable, Ngcuka controversially said. But he made this decision against the advice of Downer and Ferreira. ‘Mr Ngcuka announced publicly that the investigating and prosecuting team, of which I was a part, had recommended that Mr Zuma should be prosecuted. The national director of public prosecutions [Ngcuka] therefore took an original decision not to prosecute, against the advice of the two line prosecutors and, indeed, the other members of the investigating team,’ Downer said.

According to him, Ngcuka’s decision not to prosecute Zuma was constitutionally significant for three reasons:

1. It was a decision taken by the national head of the NPA, not a Director of Public Prosecutions responsible for a specific province. Downer said: ‘It is debatable whether the framers of the Constitution ever intended the NDPP to have any original powers of decision at all.’

2. Ngcuka disagreed with Downer and Ferreira’s decision that Zuma should be prosecuted with Shaik: ‘With hindsight, Mr Ngcuka might wish that he had followed our advice,’ he said. Downer juxtaposed Ngcuka’s decision with the independence afforded by the Italian prosecution authority to Milan regional prosecutor Fabio de Pasquale, who had ‘waged a valiant campaign over years against Prime Minister of Italy Mr Silvio Berlusconi, with some remarkable successes. Mr de Pasquale has been able to implement his own decisions in the less hierarchical Italian system.’

3. Ngcuka’s motives were criticised by the political and legal community for years. Zuma accused Ngcuka of taking a deliberate decision to smear him by announcing publicly there was a case against him, but not having the guts to take him to court. This, Downer said, ‘fuelled the debate some years later about the succeeding NDPPs’ motives for deciding to prosecute Mr Zuma after the Shaik trial. Mr Ngcuka and the NPA (including me), in all the court papers where this issue has been raised, have vigorously and in depth denied any improper motive. Nevertheless, the negative public spin accorded to the Ngcuka decision not to prosecute, which was said to have poisoned the later decisions to prosecute Mr Zuma, tended to add some public force to the calls to drop the Zuma charges entirely, and even to abolish the Scorpions, which agency Mr Ngcuka famously founded and headed.’

A number of sources inside and outside the ANC told me over the years that Ngcuka’s decision was abused by Zuma to garner sympathy for his cause – that he was the victim of a political conspiracy.

Ngcuka, they said, honestly thought he was protecting the ANC and Zuma when he decided not to prosecute him but rather to go for Shaik. But Zuma needed a villain for his conspiracy to succeed, I was told, and Ngcuka was the perfect candidate: the man who told the world there was a prima facie case against him and briefed newspaper editors about the allegations against Zuma, although he might have saved him from imprisonment.

* * *

According to Downer, the prosecution of Zuma was a ‘legal inevitability’ after Judge Squires’ judgment in the Shaik matter. ‘One could not possibly, in the face of that judgment, do nothing. It was clear as daylight that a prosecution had to follow. It does not mean that Mr Zuma is guilty, but the judgment just made it clear that there was such a strong case against him, it would be quite improper not to prosecute.’
The Scorpions proceeded to search the properties of Zuma, his lawyer and his associates, and seized more evidence. In his address, Downer reveals that Pikoli, then the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), acted against Downer’s advice that the legal challenges to the raids should be dealt with first before Zuma’s prosecution started. A number of individuals raided by the Scorpions, including Zuma himself, his lawyers Michael Hulley and Julekha

Mahomed and businessman Jurgen Kögl, brought legal challenges against the raids in court. This meant that the state couldn’t use the documents seized in the raids in its case against Zuma until the courts had declared the raids lawful.
Downer and his team argued that Zuma should not be recharged before these legal challenges had been dealt with, but was overruled by Pikoli. This meant that the state had to argue for a postponement of the trial when it came to the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 20 September 2006. Judge Msimang lashed the state for not being prepared to proceed and threw out the case.
‘Yet again, the NDPP chose not to follow our advice, this time to delay Mr Zuma’s prosecution until we had gathered all the new evidence that we had set about obtaining,’ said Downer.

* * *

After the legal challenges to the raids were finally dealt with by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) – in the state’s favour – Downer and his team finalised the draft indictment against Zuma. The SCA delivered its judgment on 8 November 2007. Two months earlier, Mbeki had suspended Pikoli for an alleged ‘breakdown of trust’ between him and then Justice minister Brigitte Mabandla. In early December 2007, Downer and his team were ready to move against Zuma. They recommended to Advocate Mokotedi Mpshe, a deputy NDPP who was acting as head of the NPA, that they were ready to prosecute Zuma. But this time politics came into play.

It was a few days before the ANC’s Polokwane conference was due to start, and Mpshe and his colleagues decided it was a bigger risk to charge Zuma before than after the Polokwane conference.

Said Downer: ‘Our plea was, as usual, to leave politics out of it and make the correct prosecution decision. So, once again, the decision to delay the announcement of the decision until after the Polokwane conference was one taken against the advice of the line prosecutors.’

The timing of Zuma’s charges became very significant a few months later when Mpshe released transcripts of conversations between Ngcuka and former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy.

Downer ended his address by posing four questions, which he said remained:

1. Is Zuma guilty?

2. Did the intelligence agencies act irregularly when they released confidential recordings to Zuma?

3. Did someone in Zuma’s team illegally receive the recordings from the intelligence agencies?

4. What are the prospects of prosecuting someone in high office in future?

These are valid questions, which cannot stay unanswered forever.

The evidence I have gathered over the years may shed light on some of Downer’s questions. And more evidence will emerge in future, especially as Zuma loses popular support. As the Maasai saying goes: truth is like fire – it cannot be hidden under dry leaves.

- Extracted from Zuma Exposed by Adriaan Basson (Jonathan Ball Publishers). Available from bookshops nationwide. Or buy a copy now on Kalahari.com.

Comments
  • siyabonga.khumalo.108 - 2012-11-15 08:49

    when it rains it pours!!

      pieroleroux - 2012-11-15 09:49

      The arms deal cover-up was in my opinion the first sign that corruption will prevail in South Africa. It kicked corruption into high gear opening the doors for other members to partake in it, cementing the corruption age of the government of RSA. Just another sad chapter in the history of this country....

      frederik.vanas - 2012-11-15 12:00

      does herd boy not just look exactly like Doctor Evil? If Zuma is not a crook then I dont know who is.......

      frederik.vanas - 2012-11-15 12:16

      Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Greek: ???pt?? - kleptes, "thief"[1] and ???t?? - kratos, "power, rule",[2] hence "rule by thieves") is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service. This type of government corruption is often achieved by the embezzlement of state funds.

      frederik.vanas - 2012-11-15 12:29

      a fitting picture would have been a copy of "the spear of the nation" ZUMA EXPOSED!!!

  • craig.decks - 2012-11-15 09:31

    Problem still remains is he and the cANCer are still in power and every tactic in the book is regularly employed to keep it that way ! Hoping the truth will prevail and overcome soonest! Apartheid is not dead, it simply has a new name !

  • neil.ross.5473 - 2012-11-15 09:32

    There is so much smoke. There must be fire. If zuma is innocent, he must go to court and clear his name. How can any person with any dignity allow literally thousands of allegations swarm around him and do nothing? The idiots in the anc and its buddies even want to pass a law making it illegal to insult zuma. Well, zuma, if those allegations against you aren't insults (if you are innocent), then they are lies. So, why are you not prosecuting and dragging those people off to court? Maybe you are to scared to go to court? OK, try this "insult": You are corrupt, a thief, a money-launderer, you benefited hugely from the arms deal, you abuse taxpayers' money thus abuse your own people, you are the worst president this new country has ever had, you live a lavish lifestyle built on ill-gotten gains stolen from your own starving people. You are a giggling, laughing, uneducated buffoon and are an embarrassment to our country. Your policies (or lack thereof) are costing our country billions in lost trade and foreign investment and not one international leader of any standing respects you, and thus our country. In fact, you are a perfect caricature of a typical African tin-pot dictator and a satirist's dream come true. There, take me to court and prove, in open court that what I am saying is libel and an insult. Or is it the truth?

      james.moulder.37 - 2012-11-15 12:55

      That is so well said!!!!!If,allthough it will never happen,it be so that this clown takes you to court you won't bellieve the support you will spontaneously get!!!

  • neil.ross.5473 - 2012-11-15 09:35

    There is so much smoke. There must be fire. If zuma is innocent, he must go to court and clear his name. How can any person with any dignity allow literally thousands of allegations swarm around him and do nothing? The idiots in the anc and its buddies even want to pass a law making it illegal to insult zuma. Well, zuma, if those allegations against you aren't insults (if you are innocent), then they are lies. So, why are you not prosecuting and dragging those people off to court? Maybe you are to scared to go to court? OK, try this "insult": You are corrupt, a thief, a money-launderer, you benefited hugely from the arms deal, you abuse taxpayers' money thus abuse your own people, you are the worst president this new country has ever had, you live a lavish lifestyle built on ill-gotten gains stolen from your own starving people. You are a giggling, laughing, uneducated buffoon and are an embarrassment to our country. Your policies (or lack thereof) are costing our country billions in lost trade and foreign investment and not one international leader of any standing respects you, and thus our country. In fact, you are a perfect caricature of a typical African tin-pot dictator and a satirist's dream come true. There, take me to court and prove, in open court that what I am saying is libel and an insult. Or is it the truth?

      GJVlam - 2012-11-19 16:32

      Lets make it an old style class action suit.... I'm with Neil!! ....whatever he said... right there...

  • jeremy.thewasp - 2012-11-15 09:38

    And this criminal runs our country.... He should be impeached, he is an absolute embarrassment to Sloth Africa and it's people Way too much evidence to let him off the hook, nobody is above the law and should be in the dock and tried!

  • teboho.stimela - 2012-11-15 09:45

    If Zuma was guilty the courts of this land will have acted accordingly.Amazingly when a white man is involved in any case all his people hide. I THINK YOU KNOW EXACTLHY WAHT YOUR BROTHER BASSON DID TO THIS COUNTRY AND THE COURTS SAID HE WAS NOT GUILTY.Did you ever analyse how the info was moved from hie desk to the court, no just because it was Basssson.

      asdhasgd - 2012-11-15 11:12

      Teboho what do you think the spy tapes are?? political parties and organisations want those spy tapes to convict and get zuma OUT but ZUMA is refusing to hand them over because if anyone gets a hold of them the ANC and Zuma is finished !! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT NOT ONLY WHITE PEOPLE INVOLVED YOU CLOSE MINDED DINGBAT!!

      Eterni80 - 2012-11-15 11:14

      pack the bags - we're going on a guilt trip.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-11-15 11:17

      We should ask Mr Zuma if he wants to have another day in court, he won't as he is afraid. People that made mistakes in the past, tends to repeat him. If the arms deal won't sink him, Nkandla / Zumaville will.

      alwyn.vantonder - 2012-11-15 11:19

      Teboho.stimela is just another uneducated fool, armed with an opinion! For some reason he doesn't mind showing the world his intelligence!

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-15 11:40

      Teboho.stimela. Just what did Basson do to the country?. Did he build a palace for himself with taxpayers money?. Did he sleep with a woman with aids?. Was he involved in a shady arms deal?. Do you have any clue how many of your people have him as a doctor?. Sometimes it is wiser to keep silent than to make a fool of yourself.

      steve.luckie - 2012-11-15 11:44

      Teboho I don't understand How Basson fit in this equation, let's face it..Zuma was not discharged by a court of law...it was just a formality. There was a prima facie evidence that he was involved in corruption..even today i'm still trying to sussed what went down during Zuma's case. Something tells me there was too much political interference in that case, it's always typical for ANC politicians to cry conspiracy when they are guilty..this shows how ANC disregard the law of this country..they have become the law unto themselves. It's evident that they used their majority in the National Assembly to disband Scorpions crying like little babies that it target it's members. Scorpion was a stumbling block, so they had to get rid of it..now they steal our taxpayers money without impunity because they know someone like you will defend them your life...it's a damn shame!! This matter is not about black and white...it's about South Africa witnessing ANC bullying our legal system.

      kobette.marais - 2012-11-15 13:12

      Do spell check before you post boet!

      james.moulder.37 - 2012-11-15 13:13

      Hey Brother teboho.stimela,you see this is the problem with people thinking like yoy...forget the race thing at least Basson had his day in court wich your little angel Zuma could not wait to have and then all suddenly could not pull enough strings to stay out!!!!Wake up Bro he is not only stealing from me but also from you and the rest of the country! If Basson was so quilty and he got away it was most properly because the case against him was built by BEE people!!! You see our whities are moving on in spite of all the ways and means that the goverment are trying to keep us down.The problem we have is that there are actually only two groups of people that support him...1.The ones that are well connected and... 2.Those who are un educated or simply just stupid.Don't know were you fit in. I do know a few black guys wo made it in bussiness by themselves and boy o boy do they hate this stealling corupped bunch!!!!Wake up my friend if it continue like this big problems are looming for this wonderfull country.

  • TheMcAttack - 2012-11-15 11:28

    cANCer!!!!

  • matsutle.aphane - 2012-11-15 11:33

    through the eye of the niddle, thus our president have those character required of him to lead this country and organisation?? lets be true to ourselfs.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-15 11:35

    Let's hope the Maasai saying comes true quickly then. But it won't while this lot are in office.

  • lekgwakgwa.mohlatlole - 2012-11-15 11:43

    This country run by corrupt people but South African are not stupid the can see and we are not equal before the law.

  • molebatsi.masedi - 2012-11-15 11:47

    Insignificant rants and raves of a charlatan masguarading as an investigative report.

      alonso.opinion - 2012-11-15 12:49

      You again? dof

      Cherri - 2012-11-15 13:14

      Don't diss yourself like that, Mo

      cindy.dunn.9 - 2012-11-16 00:43

      Lol trevor noahs day walker....... Manaaageemnent bwhahahahhahah

  • talana.malherbe - 2012-11-15 11:53

    As a nation, SA will never be able to take pride of our country as long as this idiot and embarrasment of a Zoomer and the ANC is running it. We hang our heads in shame!

  • joshua.medupi - 2012-11-15 11:59

    The truth will cum out and the law will take it's course.

      alonso.opinion - 2012-11-15 12:50

      I am all for the truth! Let's hope it does.

  • carl.debeer.52 - 2012-11-15 12:24

    Now we know why he built his own personal fortress with bunkers and helipads...as soon as he loses the position as ANC President he will go into hiding. Worse part of all he will lie to the locals (who they will arm to the teeth)and get them to lay down their lives to protect him. Everybody we are witnessing the beginning of the end of this ANC party!

  • zwai.mbiza - 2012-11-15 19:19

    This is bad I hope the voters can see this,on my side I'm done with this zuma organization.

  • lungie.dube.3 - 2012-11-15 21:00

    Busy writing a book instead of running the prosecution,,,Y? Y? Y? If there was a strong case against Zuma y didn't u lay the charges to the court against Nguka, Mpshe and Pikoli? Bad timing,,,people will think u r doing this to degrade Zuma and score political points,,,,I'm telling u,,,U've waited for so long,,,Zuma will never submit himself to court untill the SCA orders to prosecute him,,,Stop writing books,,,give us wat is true,,,Doing in this way will seem as if u r being used by cerain political party, just as other political parties think NPA was being used by politicians to drop Zuma's case,,,We want the truth, don't say Zuma must resign or he's corrupt without prosecuting him,,,Prosecute him and if he pleads guilty, then the people will start believing he's corrupt,,,I can sense something here mmmmm

  • moses.m.masilela - 2012-11-16 11:36

    Good, he must not be voted for second term!

  • HUROSADICK - 2012-11-16 21:13

    There is no smoke without fire,dis our so called president is guilty of every charge(LION IN DE SHEEP SKIN)

  • rkrudolph - 2012-11-20 06:39

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thepetitionsite.com%2F372%2F889%2F450%2Fsa-taxpayers-support-opposition-parties-motion-of-no-confidence-in-president-zuma%2F&h=9AQElEaLC

  • wandile.sidwell.1 - 2012-11-21 20:12

    zuma is a frauster tebogo mayb u r a zulu boy tht blinds u,but facts r thre as 4 the whites south africans u r selfish guys cos apartheid has damaged this country instaed of u joining hands nd build this country u r stil crying ur golden old days which r responsible 4 all social ill in our nation, bt zuma must pay 4 the corruption nd all his cronies they must rod in hell thts whre they belongn thts best 4 all soth africans we cnt afford 2 bear more pain thn this he das nt belong 2 this society i hate tht moron wif being

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