Zuma denies corruption


President Jacob Zuma has refuted accusations of government corruption, according to papers filed at the Constitutional Court, the Sunday Independent reported.

Zuma called the latest court bid by businessman Hugh Glenister, who as part of his quest to ensure independence for the Hawks, seeks to prove corruption in government, "wholly irrelevant and simply defamatory.

"[Glenister's submission contains] many paragraphs and hundreds of pages tarnishing the present government and numerous individuals in it as corrupt," Zuma says in his responding papers to Glenister.

"It is not clear what Glenister considered the appropriate response of the ANC government and the presidency was to answer to the wide range (sic) general accusations of corruption."

Responding to Zuma's heads of argument, Glenister said: "Apart from bald denials, [Zuma] chose not to deal with the impugned allegations".

The case in questions stems from 2008, when the Scorpions crime-fighting unit, which fell under the jurisdiction of the National Prosecuting Authority, was dissolved and replaced by the Hawks, or Directorate of Special Operations. The Hawks are under the police's jurisdiction.

Since then, Glenister and the Helen Suzman Foundation have been fighting a court battle to ensure the Hawks are separated from the police, which they claim is corrupt and compromise the investigative unit's independence.

In December, Judge Siraj Desai ruled parts of the legislation governing the Hawks were inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid in terms of ensuring adequate independence.

He however found aspects of Glenister's submissions were based on unverified opinion.

The Constitutional Court was tasked with confirming Desai's order, but Glenister appealed against it.

Glenister wants the order compelling him to pay the costs of former police minister Nathi Mthethwa to be overturned by the Constitutional Court.

Along with the Helen Suzman Foundation, Glenister is arguing the high court ruling did not go far enough to secure the Hawks sufficient institutional and operational independence.

The matter will be heard in the Constitutional Court on August 19.

- Sapa

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