A Mauritian judge has refused to allow ANC president Jacob Zuma to make conspiracy claims against President Thabo Mbeki and the State in secret.
Justice Rehana Mungly-Gulbul has ruled that Mauritian Attorney-General Rama Valayden must be notified of Zuma's latest legal bid to stop the National Prosecuting Authority from obtaining 13 documents seized by the island's authorities from the offices of Thint, a French company involved in South Africa's arms deal.
Zuma's application, in which he accused Mbeki and suspended NPA boss Vusi Pikoli of conspiring against him, was brought on an ex parte basis and was therefore not served on the attorney-general or the NPA.
For this reason, Valayden's office - which has requested the disputed documents on behalf of the State - could not respond to the allegations by Zuma that the decision to bring corruption charges against him and Thint was part of a "carefully orchestrated, politically inspired and driven strategy to exclude me from any meaningful political role".
Nor could it answer Zuma's suggestions that he was being targeted by "certain individuals... in established institutions inside and outside the ANC" because of his populist ideology and compassion for the poor.
Following Mungly-Gulbul's decision last week, the attorney-general's office has received a copy of Zuma's 12-page affidavit and is expected to say in court this week whether it is to oppose the ANC president's attempt to intervene in the Mauritian court proceedings. This hearing is to take place in open court.
NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said on Sunday the State had been "interacting" with the Mauritian attorney-general's office about Zuma's application.
He declined to comment on whether the State would seek to intervene in the case, saying it was "in the attorney-general's hands".
Meanwhile, Zuma's attorney, Michael Hulley, has denied weekend media reports that Zuma asked Mauritian Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam to instruct Valayden to stop ignoring Hulley.
Hulley would not confirm or deny that Zuma had met the prime minister shortly before he brought his Mauritian Supreme Court application, but denied that any such meeting involved "discussing litigation".
Zuma has made no secret of his intention to use political influence to thwart what he describes as the "State's political" case against him.
In documents before the Durban High Court, in which he tried to stop the State from even requesting the documents, his counsel, Kemp J Kemp, said: "(Zuma) intends to make representations to the Mauritian authorities concerning statements with which he takes issue, especially the averments that the prosecution is not politically motivated".
Zuma's legal team took particular issue with the State's request for the documents, saying it makes "no mention... that the issue of a political motive, as a component of investigation directed at all (Zuma's) affairs, has been central to his resistance to the manner of investigation".
Kemp also argued that, should the State be allowed to request the documents, "Zuma will be placed in an invidious position". If the Mauritian authorities released the documents, Zuma would take the decision on review, he said.
The disputed documents sought by the NPA include a diary in which then-Thint representative Alain Thethard noted a meeting he had with Zuma and Zuma's then-financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.
The State alleges that at this meeting, the three men discussed a R500 000-a-year payment for Zuma in return for protection during investigations into South Africa's arms deal.
The papers were seized by Mauritius's Economic Crime Office.