Zuma wanted charges dropped because corruption is a 'Western thing'

2014-10-12 16:21

Johannesburg - One of the reasons President Jacob Zuma believed criminal charges against him relating to the arms deal should be dropped was because corruption is only a crime in a “Western paradigm”, City Press reports.

And even if it was a crime, Zuma’s lawyers apparently argued, it was a crime where there are “no victims”.

These startling insights into Zuma’s 2009 written representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) are contained in a detailed NPA analysis document, which City Press has obtained.

This synopsis is attached to a memorandum dated 3 March 2009 and drawn up by Advocate Billy Downer, the senior state prosecutor who was seconded to the now defunct Directorate of Special Operations (DSO, also known as the Scorpions) for the Zuma investigation.

At the time, Zuma had already been elected president of the ANC but was not yet president of the country. Zuma’s lawyer, Michael Hulley, made representations to the NPA for the charges against him to be dropped.

The document indicates that page 22 of Zuma’s 88-page written submission deals with one of Zuma’s arguments, which the prosecutors restate as follows: “Western paradigm brands this criminal.”

“This” is probably a reference to the types of loans Zuma’s ex-financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, claimed to have innocently given him. Shaik was eventually convicted.

In their scathing response to this point, the prosecutors write: “The law prescribes that it is criminal. Until the law is amended to provide that institutionalised cronyism is not criminal, the ‘Western paradigm’ will have to be accepted.”

The response to the argument that there are no victims to the crime is similarly dismissive: “There are victims. The general public.”

Based on this synopsis, Downer’s memorandum emphatically recommends that the NPA rejects Zuma’s representations.

“Our conclusion is that even in respect of those issues regarding the merits that Zuma does address, there is no adequate answer to the state’s allegations.

“If anything, Zuma’s representations confirm the structure of the general corruption.”


The document also reveals that Hulley apparently argued that one of the considerations that militated against Zuma’s prosecution was that it would cause “general unrest through dissatisfaction with the NPA”.

Downer and the other prosecutors labelled this “blackmail”. “The argument is just as much that not prosecuting will lead to mass dissatisfaction.”

Downer makes a similar point about the so-called spy tapes – intercepted recordings of telephone conversations between the ex-head of the DSO, Leonard McCarthy, and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka – saying they amounted “to little more than blackmail”.

“They should be reduced to writing under oath and presented in the normal course, if Zuma wishes to continue to rely on them.”

This week, City Press was granted access by the court to various documents that have been handed to the DA in its court application to have acting NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision to drop corruption charges against Zuma overturned.

Included among them is the memorandum referred to by Ngcuka in the Sunday Times last week, which he used to accuse Mpshe of misleading the public about the reasons the charges were dropped.

The Scorpions memorandum Ngcuka referred to, dated 6 December 2007, makes it clear that Mpshe had already made a “final decision” that Zuma would not be charged until after the ANC’s 2007 elective conference in Polokwane.

This appears to contradict what Mpshe told South Africans when he announced that charges had been dropped.

In his statement announcing the decision, Mpshe argued the timing of charges against Zuma was manipulated by McCarthy for an illegitimate purpose, namely to influence the Polokwane conference.

Mpshe used the spy tapes, in which they discussed the timing, as a justification for this.

But Mpshe’s “final decision” appears to have been made at least a week before one of the more pertinent discussions between McCarthy and Ngcuka regarding the supposed timing of the matter.

Scorpions team contemplated resigning

In the memo, Downer expresses the bitter unhappiness of the Scorpions team following Mpshe’s decision, revealing that the team had even contemplated resigning.

“We have repeatedly motivated in the strongest possible terms why it is particularly important in the instant case that the prosecutorial decisions must be made purely for prosecutorial reasons,” he writes.

“The team feels so strongly about these principles that we have given serious consideration to terminating our involvement in this investigation.”

In this memo, Downer notes that Mpshe had already approved an application for Zuma to be charged with racketeering.

This application, also among the documents obtained by City Press, contained a prescient appraisal by the prosecuting team of what was to come.

The NPA advocates predict it is unlikely that Zuma would fight the case against him on the merits, which had proven “disastrous” for his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.

“It is anticipated that they will continue to use every legal device and stratagem to prevent the matter coming to trial.

“These will include an application for a permanent stay of prosecution [and consequent appeals], attacks on the bona fides and integrity of the prosecution team, the DSO and the NPA, [and] the use of the media to ramp up popular and political opposition to the prosecution.”

Lawson Naidoo, the executive secretary for the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, said the statement was “quite shocking”.

He pointed out that South Africa was a signatory to the UN Convention against Corruption, the African Union (AU) Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, as well as the Protocol Against Corruption of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“So are you saying that the AU and SADC are now following something that is Western?”

On Friday, the ANC said it was “unfazed” and there was nothing new about the story. The party’s spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, said: “People peddle lies in the public to drive vindictive agendas against President Jacob Zuma. Nothing of credible note has been presented so far.”

Zuma’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, did not respond to questions on the president’s views on corruption by the time of going to press.

  • Andries Hendrik Pretorius - 2014-10-12 16:26

    Zuma belongs in jail, corruption is NOT a victimless crime. The ANC (via Chancelor House) and Zuma are stealing from the poor.

      Luke Boshier - 2014-10-12 16:28

      To think 62% voted for him and his rANCid lot!

      Sharon-E - 2014-10-12 16:46

      He lives in a house with a toilet. He drives around in a car. Funny how the nice bits are used and the not so nice bits are rejected! The western word for that is hypocrisy.....

      Rob - 2014-10-12 16:47

      No matter how cast in concrete the prosecutors have as a case against JZ, he will never go to jail ever. If he steps down he will first secure indemnity against any form of prosecution for life from the new president. He is free and he will remain so, there is no way he will ever have to appear in court. New presidents have always given outgoing presidents indemnity.

      Leroy Reynolds - 2014-10-12 16:47

      No, not the poor, the poor are suffering yet...they are stealing from us all, from our country and its development! We will remain a joke until such time where we invest in our people! Government is a big fat joke, paid for doing nothing, and good for just as much...nothing!

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2014-10-12 17:02

      This is real primitive,bone-through-the=nose mentality. No victims so it's OK?? What about the millions of taxpayer victims?? What about the other good uses the money could have gone to?? Showerhead remains a lowdown thief in any culture.

      Xavier7034 - 2014-10-12 18:01

      @Rob ........your name alone is steeped in irony..... He could rob people like you of their false teeth.....and you would still give us toothless grin .

      CliveK - 2014-10-12 18:20

      I am not sure why there are so many thumbs-downs for Rob, as he's probably right, unpalatable as that may be. Sickening thought!

      Made-In SA - 2014-10-12 22:11

      E-Tolls is very western.Stop paying

  • Naas Viljoen - 2014-10-12 16:28

    So, it's OK to be a criminal if your'e black???

      BrianExmachina - 2014-10-12 16:49

      Pinkflooi, it's Zuma's submission that said corruption is only a crime in the Western paradigm. The insinuation is that corruption is perfectly acceptable in the African paradigm. Naas is simply asking whether the President's understanding of what should be legal extends to other crimes.

      Dan Demoyne - 2014-10-12 16:56

      It's apparently only a 'Western' thing. what a MORON!!!

      Django Unchained - 2014-10-12 17:09

      No only if you are politicaly conected

      Mike Heyns - 2014-10-12 17:44

      Then what do you call it in Zulu?? "Borrowing" someone else's cattle?

      Xavier7034 - 2014-10-12 18:06

      Isinkoma isela...... .

      Ansie Fourie - 2014-10-12 18:14

      Korupsie is plain weg STEEL

      Jonathan Woods - 2014-10-12 18:46

      Well that's the thing. In his culture if you're at the top of the pile everything beneath you is yours. This whole concept of individual ownership and rights is also a Western concept.

      blackmarlene - 2014-10-12 19:12

      So, it's ok to enjoy the benefits of 1st world technology but to foist the effects of third world corruption on those that pay to keep you in your disgusting opulence. Yup - bone through the nose just about sums it up!!

      Made-In SA - 2014-10-12 22:12

      E-Tolls is very western.Stop paying

      Made-In SA - 2014-10-12 22:24

      Jacob Zuma.The destroyer of South Africa. A fish rots from the head

      sxp - 2014-10-13 08:38

      Basically YES, they ensure this via statute.

  • piet.vanzyl - 2014-10-12 16:33

    "Weatern" when it suits Zuma (private jet, suits, hotels, cars when it suits him and "3rd world" when he wants it to be (4 wiffes, corruption, fraud....). Decide what you want, Zuma. You can't have your breD buttered on both sides. All I can say you and all your cronies are going to pay for what you did (and are doing) to SA. Your own people have finally had enough

      adinparadise - 2014-10-12 16:41

      The reasoning of a narcissistic kleptomaniac.

      Akhenaten C.T. - 2014-10-12 17:16

      He's got enough money now to buy himself four more wives and retire to f..k himself into oblivion.

      Margaret Cox - 2014-10-12 18:41

      This is a dreadful thing to wish - but I hope he becomes ill and doesn't live to enjoy Nkandla.

      Made-In SA - 2014-10-12 22:26

      Jacob Zuma.The destroyer of South Africa. A fish rots from the head

  • Motho Fela - 2014-10-12 16:33

    Zuma is insane, how can the people allow someone like this to run their country,He is corrupt and Dirty, this man needs to be removed from power as soon as possible, We need to protest for his removal, and l know it is going to happen, his followers like it or not he will not finish his term, this is Damage good.

  • Gorj Bear - 2014-10-12 16:35

    If ever anyone doubted this person has the IQ of a fridge magnet??????

      KevinKing - 2014-10-12 16:56

      Well then what do we say about the millions who voted for showerhead?

      Django Unchained - 2014-10-12 17:12

      Atleast magnet can attract iron.

  • Leigh-anne Baaliah - 2014-10-12 16:36

    Jy is n dr@l op n dreskas Zuma. The whole country is suffering due to your corruption.

  • John Mlungu - 2014-10-12 16:38

    And now I have heard everything

  • Twolips - 2014-10-12 16:42

    Please, someone, tell me if there's a Zulu word for corruption. "......Nothing of credible note has been presented so far.” Pages and pages of proof amount to "nothing"?

      Django Unchained - 2014-10-12 17:32

      Ukukwabanisa=Zulu Urwapilizo=Xhosa korrupsie=Afrikaans

      Xavier7034 - 2014-10-12 18:11

      Western word for corruption? Zuma... .

  • Marc Anthony Webb - 2014-10-12 16:43

    Not sure why corruption is a Western thing? From the top of Africa to Cape Point Africa has embraced corruption with no shame and the poor suffer the most!!!Our so-called President Zuma has embraced it with open arms and enriched himself his family and lackeys at the expense of the country,his perception that we are all as stupid as he is really annoys me!!!

  • Mark Smith - 2014-10-12 16:44

    The president of a country stating clearly that corruption is not a crime. Anthony troll your valuable insights on this latest good story to tell please,don't forget to blame the DA

  • BrianExmachina - 2014-10-12 16:50

    I just don't know anymore. I want to be positive about the country, but sigh... just sigh...

      louise.stephenson.754 - 2014-10-12 16:54

      I'm with you Brian, but what do we do. We vote, sure, but we are too few to make a significant difference, it worries me.

      NoneOfYourBusiness - 2014-10-12 18:38

      Zuma and the current ANC have drained SA of every drop of positivity. I no longer have solidarity with my fellow South Africans I had post 94, this is not Mandelas rainbow nation anymore. It's every man for himself nowadays, I don't feel sorry for people who vote for corrupt and uneducated leaders, they must suffer.

      Wouter Willemse - 2014-10-12 19:34

      Anthony, this point is also not on the Agenda. Did you get your 33%?

      Lanfear Mierin - 2014-10-13 07:27

      @ Anthony - all your comments on this article point to one thing: you think two wrongs make a right.

  • Akhenaten C.T. - 2014-10-12 16:54

    Corruption is when you take money that does not belong to you, which amounts to theft. Theft is a crime in all the countries in the world and if you take money for yourself, you are keeping it away from developing the country for the good of all the people. You are stealing from 50 million people.

      KevinKing - 2014-10-12 17:02

      We only learn about the meaning of corruption later on in the educate process. Most South Africas never get to this stage thus believe that stealing is only physically stealing something off another person.

      Phelamanga - 2014-10-12 18:34

      Corruption not only applies to money. It's the disregarding of rules and regulations so that you benefit in any manner. It's about paying lip service to the Constitution of the country, pledging to uphold it in its entirety but then subverting the Constitution so that you benefit somehow. It's also not being prepared to take responsibility of ones own actions that have caused others to suffer, or are deprived of their rights, and the forcing other people to take the fall fir your actions. Guptagate, Nkandla, The Shaiks, and the rape of a friend's daughter, fathering a child in an act of adultery against four wives, these were all as a result of the actions of one highly corrupt and greedy man, and in all cases, other people got fingered and disgraced. This shows that this one man is morally, spiritually and physically corrupt. Even the fact that he is a commoner who wants to be bestowed with the cultural traditions of a Zulu king shows that he is culturally corrupt. He is also open to financial corruption because he is prepared to enter into deals that benefit only him and his family. Yet people in this country will forgive him because he belongs to the same race group or cultural group. This is a reflection of our country, and if we have a national symbol like this, it tells us that we are all just the same as he is. Shame on us!

      sxp - 2014-10-13 08:40

      yes, so how do 50million people charge these thieves?

  • Peter Gibbs - 2014-10-12 16:57

    Sit on a western toilet, talk on a western phone, use a western shower and all the other western things you use are all accepted but not their laws. What an absolute idiot.

      Genet Joobs - 2014-10-12 17:19

      And he demands flush toilets for all the shack dwellers. Go back to the bush.

      JL Joubert - 2014-10-12 17:52

      Sure brains where not yet delivered in the Western system! Go shower... LOL

  • JL Joubert - 2014-10-12 16:57

    In a western world... Oh my where are we going?

  • stompie.ferreira - 2014-10-12 16:57

    Maybe the whole of SA should stop paying their taxes then there is nothing to steal from the State coffers----- empty State coffers=no corruption!!!

      Genet Joobs - 2014-10-12 17:20


  • Phelamanga - 2014-10-12 16:58

    The worst character of a weak and compromised man is playing the victim to gain sympathy, by appealing to people to forgive him because he was ignorant if the fact that he was doing the wrong things, and by implying he deserves his mansions, four wives, 20-plus and counting children, because he didn't know right from wrong because he is an African being confronted by a Western paradigm. What a poor, poor excuse for a man. He establishes his manhood through having more wives than he can manage sexually, just to show the world how virile he us, and his growing number of children are used as virility meter just to confirm his manliness, yet he cannot man up and behave in an honest and upright manner for the common good. How can anyone be proud to have a president who can't even honour his pledge to uphold the constitution? And then he has equally weak and compromised people around him whose sole purpose is to defend him from his own excesses.

  • Rui Obed Muchenga - 2014-10-12 17:00

    Lol so the du Plessis are " GANGING " on the shower head. # nor feer.

  • Johann van den Berg - 2014-10-12 17:02

    I think he is saying that in Africa there is/was no corruption. Whatakant

  • Rollingstone Brown - 2014-10-12 17:02


  • Pur Pleibus - 2014-10-12 17:02

    "Western Paradigm" my ass. The laws of South Africa - our country - make corruption a crime. Go to jail. Move directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect R200. Don't even worry about repaying the Nkandla money. The Asset Forfeiture Unit will sort all that out for you.

  • Gorden Park - 2014-10-12 17:03

    So them the public can evade paying tax its also victimless.

  • jane.dawson.165 - 2014-10-12 17:03

    As a taxpayer, I am a victim. HE USED OUR MONEY!!!!!

  • jane.dawson.165 - 2014-10-12 17:03

    As a taxpayer, I am a victim. HE USED OUR MONEY!!!!!

      Gregor Schmitz - 2014-10-12 19:03

      I disagree! The pupils without school books, the people in areas with no effective policing, with no running water and electricity are the victims.

      blackmarlene - 2014-10-13 09:00

      Gregor, we are all victims. His greed and corruption has caused crime to escalate - we have all in some way become victims of crime. We have to barricade ourselves into our homes, pay security companies to look after our streets and homes, we have no medical aid - so we have to use government hospitals - have you been in one lately. Have you seen our roads? We are all victims of this man's filthy greed.

  • neil.moorgas - 2014-10-12 17:03

    If all other professions demand tertiary education, surely civil servants need to comply? Find it very difficult to vision a conversation between our civil servants when visiting various countries across the globe, but then again begging requires very little conversation!

      Wouter Willemse - 2014-10-12 17:45

      No Neil. This would be considered Apartheid mentally. The least qualified person gets chosen to do the job, because they are the easiest to manipulate and will not ask one question. They will sign on the dotted line. Money will change hands. Recently I have read that the South African president, Zuma of sorts, encourages corruption...

  • Tom Robbins - 2014-10-12 17:04

    Begone scumbag!

      blackmarlene - 2014-10-13 09:00

      You forgot to say the magic word ...

  • Fred Smith - 2014-10-12 17:04

    Oh hooray! So we can all go out and lie, cheat and steal form each other. No need for any honest people at all.

      CliveK - 2014-10-12 18:24

      No Fred, if you're Western you may not do corruption; don't you geddit?

  • Adv Goitseone Legoete - 2014-10-12 17:05

    Jails a western 2!.

  • Plastiek Spies - 2014-10-12 17:07

    Aid by me the taxpayer or do you think money comes from the Department of Finance. And to think this man takes decisions on behalf of me and my kids, God help us!

  • Helgardt Oelofse - 2014-10-12 17:08

    Every time this idiot opens his mouth,he makes South Africa the laughing stock of the world !

      adinparadise - 2014-10-12 18:27

      The rest of the world doesn't care a fig about about Zuma.

      blackmarlene - 2014-10-13 09:01

      He also makes a complete klutz of himself!!

  • Brandon Mortimer - 2014-10-12 17:09

    All good and well....but what will come of it all.....what?

  • Attie Heunis - 2014-10-12 17:10

    Tax is also "a Western thing".

      Kwaaitjie Kabouter - 2014-10-12 19:06

      "We black people we do not understand this law of tax"

  • Pamela Angeline Harvey - 2014-10-12 17:15

    Hello Zuma, your suit is a Western thing! You are just an embarrassment to all South Africans. Eish wish I could buy you a packet of pills to fix stupid!

  • Mark Bateman-Evans - 2014-10-12 17:16

    I dont want to pay tax then, because that's also westernized

  • Carpenter - 2014-10-12 17:19

    Yet the fool reaps the 'western' profits without any hesitation

  • walty5 - 2014-10-12 17:19

    The lifestyles that this fool has become accustomed to is a " western thing " also . Go back to the bush if you don't like this western thing

  • jungleboy - 2014-10-12 17:27

    Dirty rotten kraal rat and his slimeball lawyers. I really hope that one day this pig and his hacks will give account for their thieving and racketeering or this country will be doomed.

  • jungleboy - 2014-10-12 17:27

    Dirty rotten kraal rat and his slimeball lawyers. I really hope that one day this pig and his hacks will give account for their thieving and racketeering or this country will be doomed.

  • Mark Russell - 2014-10-12 17:29

    Sounds a lot like an admission of guilt to me. He basically said that yes he took money but feels that it can not be a bribe because bribery is only a crime in the west. .....Sorry Zuma but it's also a crime in the east and North. This is a blatant attempt to arrogantly adapt culture to hide behind a false interpretation. He know very well what a bribe is and what it means. To say bribery is victimless in this instance is hugely insulting. The main victim being or economy and tax money

  • Kirsty Prinsloo - 2014-10-12 17:30

    Then Let everyone throw stones at him then burn him in tires. If he is looking for an African punishment he can have that.

  • Merle Pillay - 2014-10-12 17:30

    What hope is there for us.. having this imbecile run our beloved country

  • Fifi Stewart - 2014-10-12 17:31

    What happened to blaming apartheid? How can one person fool so many people? He sure is the most cunning and crafty one I know. Bowing and scraping to those who can enhance his billions while millions are starving right here in our country. Greeedy!!

  • Tinzi Nkosinathi N T - 2014-10-12 17:33

    our president is a stupid yoo.

  • Attie van Wyk - 2014-10-12 17:35

    This, to me, is now the final confirmation that our government is lead by a retard. Governing a country in the 21 st century "CAN ONLY HAPPEN IN THE WESTERN PARADIGM". Whatever you call corruption in your "traditional" culture does not change the impact or disgrace of the act.

  • Stephen AndKathy Whiteley - 2014-10-12 17:37

    No victims, he says. If he took a walk round any squatter camp or village where the women carry water on their heads, TV sets are wired up to grilles on leaking roofs, the cars' suspensions are ruined by rutted dirt roads, old women are without social welfare for lack of documents ... S

  • Kelvin Veeran - 2014-10-12 17:37

    No victims, clearly he hasn't taken a walk in the streets of the cbd or the townships that have been robed of the money that was spent on the arms deal

  • Kieran Harrop - 2014-10-12 17:37

    Makes lots of sense- why does he have cars, clothes, houses etc. That's also a 'Western' thing.

  • Babu Ephraim Maseka - 2014-10-12 17:38

    Now Zuma must be psychologically disturbed...

  • Denton Estment - 2014-10-12 17:38

    Corruption may be a western thing. When westerners get caught they resign or face the courts. So Zuma must do the same and face the courts at his own expense. Time to get rid of Hulley as he is another leach trying to suck up as much lolly as he can!!!

  • ewa.pawlikowska.5 - 2014-10-12 17:39

    I'm speechless... It is very sad. Looks like nothing can be done for this beautiful country... Nothing. No low, no morality, no respect for citizens.

  • Robert Keene - 2014-10-12 17:39

    ..and our Constitution and your "better life for all" are African paradigms with no beneficiaries??