The guillotine finally falls on Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma has been notified of charges of corruption, money laundering, fraud and racketeering.
“There was an indictment served on my office today in respect to Mr Zuma,” his lawyer, Michael Hulley, confirmed on Monday afternoon.
Zuma is expected to appear in the High Court in Durban on April 6.
The indictment comes days after National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma would face the criminal charges that were dropped in 2009.
Hulley said they were busy preparing Zuma’s application to review Abrahams’s decision. This will likely delay the matter.
Zuma is facing 16 charges — one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud. This is in relation to 783 questionable payments connected with the arms deal over which Zuma’s former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was jailed for corruption.
The former president’s backers have vowed to stand by him and are likely to show their support when he appears in the High Court in Durban.
However, the ANC national executive committee took a decision at its meeting at the weekend that its structures should not show support for any party leaders or members facing allegations of corruption or state capture. This includes the ANC’s women’s league, its youth league and uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association, all of which have been staunch supporters of Zuma.
The youth league took a special resolution at its national congress in 2008 to support Zuma, who the league claimed was then being “subjected to a selective prosecution”.
Individual members were allowed to show support in their personal capacity, but were not allowed to display ANC “paraphernalia … thus creating the false impression that the ANC as an organisation identifies with, or approves of, the misdemeanours of which any member or leader may be accused”, the party’s secretary-general, Ace Magashule, said after the national executive committee meeting on Sunday.
This differs from the stance the ANC took when Zuma first faced the corruption charges in 2007, when he was elected leader of the party at the party’s national elective conference in Polokwane.
The first indictment was served on Zuma just after he was elected ANC president in December 2007.
However, the charges were dropped by then acting National Prosecuting Authority head Mokotedi Mpshe in 2009.
The decision was taken based on what became known as the spy tapes — recordings and telephone conversations which apparently showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.