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Zuma is a small fry, says Jacob Zuma Foundation

Former President Jacob Zuma.Image : Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Former President Jacob Zuma.Image : Theo Jeptha/ African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 18, 2022

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The Jacob Zuma Foundation criticised the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) for what it called a failure to provide certification of prosecution.

Yesterday, Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Piet Koen postponed the arms deal matter to August.

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The court heard that the reconsideration application was still on its way to Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) Judge President Mandisa Maya.

Koen anticipates that Maya would have made a decision by then.

Former President Jacob Zuma accused chief prosecutor advocate Billy Downer of being biased, and applied to have him off the case in what he said would then be a fair trial.

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Zuma had asked Maya to reconsider Koen’s ruling, in which he found that there was no reason that Downer could not continue as the prosecutor in the matter.

Koen said he does not believe that the reconsideration application is of substance.

Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales are facing charges of fraud and corruption related to the 1990s arms deal.

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The Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi said they will use the time to finish with the Stalingrad tactics of the NPA.

“We are very clear that the NPA has been busy with Stalingrad since April 11, 2022 that we have been waiting for the certificate of non-prosecution so that Downer can officially be accused number one.

“The NPA has been doing dilly-dally and all of that, just a one-pager. Why is it so difficult? We hope that by August 1 when that time comes at least the NPA will have done the right thing and Downer will be accused number one,” Manyi said.

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Koen read the following reasons for granting postponement:

“One: If unsuccessful Zuma launches an application for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.”

“Two: The adjournment is granted on the basis that if the application of the Superior Courts Act has been determined by August 1, 2022 and no application for leave to appeal to the Concourt has been launched the trial shall resume at 10am on August 15 and shall thereafter continue until September 16, and again from November 7 until December 2.”

“Three: If the trial is not ready to proceed by the holding date on August 1, then a further holding date for the continuation of the trial will be determined.”

“Four: On the basis that the accused undertake to appear on August 15, Zuma and the representatives of Thales are excused from attendance on August 1.”

“Five: The council of the parties representing the accused at the trial are requested by June 8 to provide a list of dates of prior judicial commitments when they will not be available for the continuation of the trial during the second term of this court for 2023.”

Manyi said Zuma is looking forward to having his day in court and called him a small fish in the scheme of things.

“Zuma is looking forward to that day. As we speak South Africa is not aware that on Zuma’s indictment sheet we are not talking about R4 million.

“This excitement by the whole country is misguided excitement, saying we are going to get to the bottom of this. The real culprits are not even in space. So for Zuma to take the stand we are going to talk about the billions that Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille spoke about in Parliament. Those are the billions that people should be worried about; Zuma is a small fry in the scheme of things,” Manyi said.

Legal analyst Mpumelelo Zikalala said Koen wanted to make sure that when the parties return to court the evidence would be heard, since yesterday was a wasted day where nothing happened.

“Indirectly, I thought Koen was throwing the ball in the court of the SCA and saying he does not understand why the matter had not been decided up until today. We certainly hope when the case is back in court everything will have been completed,” Zikalala said.

COPE said that Zuma must make peace with himself that he will not succeed in removing the Downer.

“Zuma must know that he can drag this corruption case for years, he can use all the tricks in the books, but he can never escape justice.

“It is very clear that there is something huge that Zuma is hiding. Zuma must just be man enough and face the judge to clear his name if he is innocent,” said COPE national spokesperson Dennis Bloem.

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