Zuma to face fraud charges

Judge Louis Harms has ruled that African National Congress President Jacob Zuma will have to face...

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Judge Louis Harms has ruled that African National Congress President Jacob Zuma will have to face fraud charges.

He handed down judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal in <place w:st="on"><city w:st="on">Bloemfontein on Monday.

Harms said Judge Chris Nicholson overstepped his mark.

“The trial judge, again, failed to comply with basic rules of procedure. Judgment by ambush is not permitted. It is not proper for a court in motion proceedings to base its judgments in passages in documents which have been next to the papers and the conclusion sought to be drawn from such passages have not been carried in affidavits.”

Harms was heavily critical of Nicholson, saying that his findings were gratuitous and that it was not up to the Judiciary to draw political inferences.

Harms said it was wrong that Nicholson made findings against people without calling them to give evidence, adding that it was wrong for Nicholson to accept evidence presented in the form of newspaper articles.

Zuma can no longer claim to be the victim of a political conspiracy with quite as much legitimacy and it also meant that he faces corruption charges, just as the ANC was going into election mode.

He was likely to go to the <street w:st="on"><address w:st="on">Constitutional Court and it seemed unlikely that any trial would begin before those polls but Monday’s decision would give opposition parties a political weapon against the ANC.

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