The tide was against former pres. Jacob Zuma.
Not only did the court reject his application to stop the corruption hearing against him, but the court also refused to submit a letter and additional documentation as evidence.
Natasha Ramkisson, spokeswoman for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal, said on Tuesday the corruption trial against Zuma was on the court roll from Tuesday to Friday.
Zuma demanded that the corruption and fraud charges against him, linked to the arms scandal, be stopped permanently. This was dismissed by a full bench of Pietermaritzburg High Court judges yesterday.
Thales South Africa’s application that prosecution stopped him was also denied.
In addition, judges Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, Bhekisisa Mnguni and Esther Steyn ruled in favor of the NPA that Zuma’s additional evidence is not admissible.
The NPA has applied that certain parts of an answering statement made by Zuma on April 1 this year should not be allowed as new evidence.
The court ruled in favor of the NPA on the grounds that these documents were scandalous or vexatious and dragged on inadmissible issues.
No cost order was made on this application. It stems from an attempt by Zuma to add a letter and additional documents, dated March 22, 2018, to the court record. Adv. Muzi Sikhakhane, Zuma’s legal representative, wrote this letter from Adv. Former NPA chief Shaun Abrahams tried to file in May. The letter was apparently addressed to Lt. Gen. Yolisa Matakata, former Hawks chief.
In it, Abrahams apparently called on the Hawks to investigate allegations that Thales paid millions of euros to the ANC and former Justice Minister Penuell Maduna to help withdraw complaint against Thint, a former Thales affiliate.
Sikhakhane argued that this proves political interference in the case against Zuma.
Zuma entered the court shortly before the verdict and left it very soon afterward. Mnguni read an abridged version of the verdict.
Zuma is facing 18 counts of fraud, corruption, money laundering and robbery related to 783 payments of about R4m received by his then financial adviser, Schabir Shaik.
Shaik had previously been convicted of fraud and corruption charges.
Thales said in a statement yesterday that he is studying the ruling and will take steps accordingly to protect his rights.
Zuma’s legal team did not say whether they would apply for leave to appeal.
Although the DA obtained a court order in 2011 that the NPA should hand over the full record of Mpshe’s decision and the full set of espionage ties, the NPA refused “because Zuma’s legal representatives have hijacked it”. The recordings were finally handed over in 2014.
A legal process to overturn Mpshe’s decision not to prosecute Zuma was also eventually won by the DA in 2017.
Breytenbach says after yesterday’s verdict, Zuma will finally get his day in court.