There’s the plan. Eish, is clevah.
Get in, get the top chair then fix the problem from within. Justice African style.
Your new leader, ladies and gentlemen.
Zuma, the head of South Africa's ruling party and leading candidate to become president after next year's elections, will be in court next week to try to get corruption charges against him dismissed.
While he'll likely fail, he probably will achieve another goal: delaying the case's final resolution for years.
At a hearing in the eastern town of Pietermaritzburg starting Aug. 4, Zuma will argue that prosecutors didn't follow legal procedures in reviving the charges on Dec. 28. If that doesn't work, his lawyers likely will seek an adjournment of several months when the trial gets under way on Aug. 14 to give them time to study thousand of pages of evidence.
Zuma may also file a separate lawsuit demanding that the case be scrapped, causing further delays.
Zuma has "a very, very slim chance of winning'' a dismissal, said Pierre de Vos, a constitutional law professor at the University of the Western Cape, in a telephone interview from Cape Town. The lawsuits probably are aimed at ensuring "the trial doesn't happen before the next election.'' Zuma, 66, has been battling accusations that he took bribes from arms dealers since 2001.
He ousted President Thabo Mbeki as leader of the African National Congress in a tussle that divided the party in December, 10 days before the charges were reinstated.
Elections must be held before the end of July 2009. Zuma, the ANC's candidate to succeed Mbeki, wouldn't be barred from office unless he is convicted and sentenced to a jail term of longer than a year and exhausts all appeal options before both the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Constitutional Court.
"If the trial continues, I would imagine it wouldn't be concluded before 2010,'' De Vos said. "There are many opportunities for delaying if they really want to for a year or two.''
Zuma lost another round in the case when the Constitutional Court ruled that documents seized from his lawyers' offices were admissible as evidence. The decision, upholding a November ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals, rejected arguments that warrants authorizing the search of the offices were too broad and invaded his privacy.
The National Prosecuting Authority is ready to go to trial now, its spokesman Tlali Tlali said after the ruling. Mbeki fired Zuma as his deputy in 2005 after allegations surfaced that Zuma's financial adviser tried to solicit a bribe for him. The adviser, Schabir Shaik, was convicted of bribing Zuma in 2006 and sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Prosecutors allege in court papers that Zuma received 783 bribes totaling 4.07 million rand ($555,700) from Shaik and his companies between October 1995 and July 2005 in return for using his political clout to further their business interests.
Zuma has said he is innocent, calling the charges part of a ploy to undermine his political career and arguing that his rights to a fair trial have been prejudiced because it took so long to charge him. "The only reasonable inference to be drawn is one of a grim resolve, irrespective of the facts and circumstances, to prosecute me and so prevent my presidency,'' Zuma said in court papers. The court should declare the case "is invalid'' and that prosecutors be liable for all costs.
Senior investigator Johan du Plooy said in his response to the court that Zuma's application to invalidate the charges had no merit. Zuma's claims that the case is politically motivated are "completely irrelevant,'' the investigator said.
The ANC, which dominates South African politics and won almost 70 percent of the vote in the last election, has backed Zuma in the legal fight. "Throughout the investigation and prosecution of this case, the ANC president has had his rights repeatedly violated by institutions of state, specifically the National Prosecuting Authority,'' the party said in a July 29 statement. "The manner in which this case has been handled by the authorities over the last few years has reinforced the perception that this is a political trial and has fuelled doubts about his chances of receiving a fair hearing.''
Sunday, August 03, 2008
There’s the plan. Eish, is clevah.