AS IT HAPPENED: 'There is no case against me, there never will be' Zuma says outside court

2019-05-20 15:30

The first day of proceedings in former president Jacob Zuma's fight for a permanent stay of prosecution against him has wrapped up, and Zuma is now expected to address a crowd of supporters outside court.

WATCH LIVE: Jacob Zuma in court 

(Courtesy of SABC) 

Former president Jacob Zuma battling corruption ch
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Last Updated at 09:48
20 May 16:53

Zuma concludes by thanking his supporters for voting for the ANC.

"You did well by voting for the ANC and it will continue to govern for years. Don’t worry about people who think when they are busy chanting ANC will lose it will come true. Dololo.

"If the ANC must always be strong and it must always govern because it’s the only organisation that knows where we come from and where we are going," he says.

"Nothing can be done in one day. Something as serious as a nation cannot be fixed in a day. The ANC will rule and fix land issues and challenges faced by the country. Hold on to the ANC, it has a mission. It has a calling to fix this country. There is no other organisation like it," he says.


20 May 16:48

"I have a tough lawyer inside. He has argued there are two ways to interpret the law. One is a legal philosophy of the apartheid times. That law tarnished people’s rights. The second interpretation is of post 94 were you are guided by the law and you don’t trample peoples rights," Zuma says.

"My lawyers have argued that what has happened to me is like the way people were charged in the apartheid era."

"I told you to vote for the ANC because I heard a rumour that some were not intending to vote. I thought if I don’t say vote ANC I will be blamed for you not voting.

"Voting for the ANC is voting ANC, not the person. There is no one with more power than the ANC. The ANC has the power not a person," Zuma says


20 May 16:45
"We are here tomorrow, on Thursday and Friday, if it comes to that. You can come tomorrow or you can choose a day and you can come everyday. It’s up to you. I just want all of you to be aware of the courts diary," Zuma says.

20 May 16:44
Zuma: "There are two things the judges need to do; to say if NPA has no case or has a case."

20 May 16:43

Zuma says his lawyers tomorrow will argue how the NPA broke the law in their "ambition to charge me".

"The Judges themselves are curious. They interrupt arguments because at times they are confused.

"There is no case against me and there never will be. They failed for 15 years to charge me and they can’t. It’s clear this is politically motivated," Zuma says.


20 May 16:41

Zuma alleges that the prosecutor in charge was recorded saying "now is the to time arrest him".

"You can’t build a respectable case and in the other hand conspire to charge an innocent citizen like Zuma. My lawyer argued incessantly. He argued that the NPA should agree that this case is frivolous," Zuma says.


20 May 16:39

Zuma: "Today the Zuma spy tapes were laid bare in court, where prosecutors and investigators conspired to have me imprisoned so I wouldn’t be president.

"It’s clear that my case has two folds. The law and politics. The lawyers argued. It’s not just a case of criminal behavior. It’s a conspiracy."

"One of them who was head of scorpions, he was recorded asking prosecutors when I would be arrested."


20 May 16:38

"They imprisoned my friend to test if a prosecution against me would hold up in court.

"There are many arguments that were made. My lawyers asked why was it necessary for Zuma to go on trial. They say it was because we were going to Polokwane. It was to stop my presidency,"Auma says.


20 May 16:37

Zuma: "In the morning the court thought we would end on Thursday but they are not filling out Friday as a final day.

"The charge was planned so that I would not be able to leave the courts.

"“They dropped prosecution at first because they never thought they would have a chance to succeed."


20 May 16:36

"We have asked for a permanent stay of prosecution. Today we were given four days. A chance for my lawyers to argue why we want this stay of prosecution.

"We want to argue why prosecutors and investigators have trampled by rights," Zuma tells his supporters.


20 May 16:35

Zuma: "My rights have been trampled and we have evidence that we are keeping mum because we are not populist. We are respecting the law.

"We said we wanted to argue in the courts that this case is tainted. No trail has gone on for this long. I am charged one day, the charges are dropped the next day."


20 May 16:34
“Even those who were meant to be witnesses have even forgotten their testimony. Some have died . We are now arguing that if this trial continues, it’s just a witch hunt. We can’t have a trail based on this. We argue this trial is not fresh and witnesses have died and the presiding judges have retired," Zuma tells his supporters.

20 May 16:30

20 May 16:28

20 May 16:23

20 May 16:17

20 May 16:17
Zuma is updating his supporters on his court appearances.

20 May 16:13

20 May 16:02

20 May 15:52

20 May 15:49

Zuma is expected to address a crowd of supporters outside court, who have been waiting all day.


20 May 15:48

Mnguni and Steyn have now both basically told Katz - it's been a long day, we have read your papers. 

Katz insists on making a "final" submission. Judge Poyo-Dlwati jokes: You are insisting we hear this case fully today? 

Court proceedings, however, adjourn for the day. Back at 09:30 tomorrow. 



20 May 15:47

Anton Katz SC for Thales is up. He is maximising the last five minutes of the day in court, to have some version on record.

Katz is going through the outline of how he will present his case tomorrow morning. 

Katz: We submit this court is exercising its power from start to finish, under Section 172 of the Constitution, which is in this court's power.

Katz: We submit that the decision by (former NDPP) Advocate Shaun Abrahams was unlawful, irrational and inconsistent with the Constitution. (The decision to reinstitute charges against Thales.)


20 May 15:43

Masuku wraps up his submission on behalf of Zuma, focusing on prosecutorial misconduct.


20 May 15:42

OPINION: We have moved exceptionally far down the line today. We started with vague conspiracy theories and clandestine operations, to see Zuma jailed, with Sikhakhane this morning. 

It is now 15:30, and we have moved to the NPA being accused of full-blown "prosecutorial misconduct" and "unlawful and unconstitutional acts", as Masuku took to the podium. Masuku is urging the court to make sure there are consequences for the NPA for "what they have done" to Zuma. 

Problem is, no court has actually ruled the NPA has done anything wrong. There was interference, certainly, but no court has found the prosecutors or the NPA committed any misconduct in the Zuma matter.

 - News24 reporter Kyle Cowan


20 May 15:39

Masuku: "There has to be consequences for prosecutorial misconduct..."

Masuku: "We ask today, to make the NPA account for what they have done." 


20 May 15:35

NOTE: Judge Nicholson threw out the Zuma corruption case in 2008 and wrote a scathing judgment, which Masuku is now trying to rely on. Judge Mnguni however, seems skeptical. The Supreme Court of Appeal overturned Nicholson's judgment. Mnguni is now trying to understand how an SCA-overturned judgment helps Zuma at all. 

"There are many criticisms in that judgment," Masuku submits. 


20 May 15:31

Mnguni interrupts Masuku. He asks him what he considers to be a "game changer" in the Nicholson judgment. There are criticisms in that judgment, Masuku says.

"I am trying to get from you what you think is of assistance to your client," Mnguni reiterates. 


20 May 15:28

Masuku: This is what this court will be looking at, what are the consequences of the constitutional violations in this case. 

Masuku: It is very important for the judicial eye to extract from the NPA why it believes it has the integrity to stand before the court and prosecute Mr Zuma. 

Masuku: This application is not an attack on the integrity of the NPA, it is a defence. It is not an attack on democracy, it is a defence of democracy. It is not some Stalingrad game. 


20 May 15:05

20 May 14:49

Sikhakhane concludes: "I want to end where I started - we started with McCarthy and the investigation. I end with their conduct as well... And by the way, these spy tapes, I can safely say, spy tapes are the tip of the iceberg...because it's not all of the conversations, it's just some of the conversations." 

Sikhakhane: "And so the pattern, you have to make the inference, that the pattern of discussing and aligning this prosecution with political purposes had been there, the script that McCarthy was asking about, 'Has it changed?', started earlier than the recordings we have." 

Sikhakhane: "And I invite this court, to agree with me, that of the two legal philosophies - one which is mob justice, we will do what we like with the person we suspect, and the other, even if we think you've done the most egregious crime in this modern, caring society built on the values of the Constitution, we will deal with you constitutionally, no matter how much people hate you. Those are our submissions."

"The NPA Act was violated," says Sikhakhane, and he contends that "the policy of the NPA was violated" in pursuit of an accused.

Sikhakhane makes way for Advocate Thabani Masuku, also part of Zuma's legal team. 


20 May 14:47

20 May 14:40

Former president Jacob Zuma checks his wristwatch during court proceedings against him. (PHOTO: Felix Dlangamandla)


20 May 14:33

Sikhakhane: "If you find, if you find... this is when I will lose this case. If you find - and you have to find this way, to differ with me - is that all of the things that happen, the discussion with politicians in South Africa when I want to charge are fine. If you find that it's not unlawful when I'm prosecuting, to do what we say Leonard McCarthy and Bulelani Ngcuka did, is not against the spirit and provisions of our Constitution, I must lose this case."

Sikhakhane: "If you find that NPA from today, and going forward, in pursuit of someone who's accused, they can do what Leonard McCarthy was doing, they can take instructions from the DA and the ANC and everybody, in order to time things to suit political players, you are free to take that decision. This court, I must lose this case, if this court does not find that violation extraordinary." 


20 May 14:23

20 May 14:23

Zuma should have been charged in 2005 with Shaik - defence 

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg heard on Monday morning that former president Jacob Zuma should have been charged in 2005 alongside his financial advisor Schabir Shaik. 

This was argued by Zuma’s own lawyer, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane SC, who is trying to persuade the court to grant an application for a permanent stay of prosecution. The matter is being heard by a full bench, consisting of Judges Bhekisisa Mnguni, Tholo Poyo-Dlwati and Esther Steyn.

Zuma and French arms company Thales are facing charges of fraud, money laundering, corruption and racketeering for a series of alleged bribes paid to Zuma through Shaik, during the multibillion-rand arms deal in the late 1990s. Shaik was found guilty of fraud and corruption in June 2005 for irregularities surrounding the same matter, and sentenced to an effective 15 years behind bars. 


20 May 14:16

20 May 14:07

Proceedings resume after the lunch adjournment. Sikhakhane continues reading excerpts and quotes from the "spy tapes" transcripts.



20 May 13:46

Duduzane Zuma, Mngxitama, Niehaus at court for Zuma 

Support for former president Jacob Zuma appeared to be dwindling slightly as his corruption court proceedings commenced on Monday.

At the majority of his other appearances in Pietermaritzburg, there has been large support from various sectors early in the morning, but there was almost zero public support for him by 10:00 at his court appearance on Monday.

By 11:00 however, groups of Zuma supporters and MK veterans could be seen marching and dancing toward the court, the numbers of which were still less than at previous appearances. 


20 May 13:38

20 May 13:21

20 May 13:11

20 May 13:08

Proceedings adjourn for lunch. Back at 14:00.


20 May 13:05

Sikhakhane on why he's reading from the "spy tapes" transcripts: "I'm reading this part, simply to tell you the type of people we are talking about, and their conduct, and how they saw themselves in executing their powers."

Sikhakhane at this point has read a number of expletives into record from the transcript of the conversation between McCarthy and Ngcuka. 

Sikhakhane reads more quotes from the "spy tapes" transcripts, during which McCarthy and Ngcuka discuss judges - "That fucking c##t!" one says of Judge Farlam. 

The transcripts Sikhakhane is reading shows Ngcuka and McCarthy talking about making sure society mobilised and voted against Zuma.

"So you are the only one who can save this country from the madness?" McCarthy asks Ncguka. 


20 May 12:57

Sikhakhane starts reading... On 9 November 2007, Leonard McCarthy and Bulelani Ngcuka: "How is it bru, do you remember a CV I gave you for a VIP guy in the Presidency?..."

Sikhakhane continues to read from the "spy tapes"... "I just wanted to say between you and me, that's the last time I, Leonard McCarthy, predict a judgment."


20 May 12:51

Sikhakhane now moves on to the "spy tapes", wants to quote directly from the transcripts because he says nobody really knows what exactly what was said in those tapes.


20 May 12:41

Sikhakhane is trying to convince the court that the blame for all the delays in the matter is purely the State's fault. The NPA will, naturally, argue the exact opposite. Trengrove, for the State, is set to argue that Zuma employed the "Stalingrad" defence. 

Sikhakhane says Zuma "does not set the dates for trials..."

Sikhakhane: "There is absolutely no reason to act unconstitutionally even if the person you are pursuing has done something wrong." 


20 May 12:32

Judge Steyn interrupts Sikhakhane: Is it not true that it is not so much the number of years, but rather the reason for the delays? 

Sikhakhane: "It's a difficult question, because I agree and disagree with you." 


20 May 12:29

Sikhakhane now reads from case law, which states that judges must rely on their own experience when determining what is an "undue delay". In the cases where permanent stay has been granted, none have had the delay of this one. None more than five years.

Sikhakhane: "We are here 15 years later. We submit that delay falls squarely on the decisions of this organ of state that must decide when to charge and when not." 


20 May 12:26

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