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Corruption case against me must be dismissed – Zuma tells supporters

Jacob Zuma addressed a crowd gathered outside court where he applied for a permanent stay of prosecution from 16 charges including of fraud.

Former President Jacob Zuma court arriving at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 20 May 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma has told his supporters the corruption case against him must be dismissed because his rights have been undermined in a shocking way.

"My rights are undermined in a surprising way, we have evidence of that," Zuma told a crowd gathered outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday afternoon where he applied for a permanent stay of prosecution related to 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering regarding a deal to buy R30 billion in European military hardware for South Africa's armed forces in the late 1990s.

Zuma said the reason his case had dragged on for 15 years was part of a politically motivated plan to ensure that he was never free of the courts.

Earlier in court on Monday, his legal team claimed unreasonable delays to his case being brought to trial had prejudiced their client.

Zuma’s advocate Muzi Sikhakhane read excerpts from the so-called spy tapes of a conversation between then Scorpions head Leonard McCarthy and former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Bulelani Ngcuka just a few weeks before the African National Congress' (ANC) 2007 elective conference where Zuma was elected president.

He said the two used profanity to describe judges while plotting about when to charge the former president with corruption.

Sikhakhane said Ngcuka was unlawfully discussing prosecutorial matters with someone who was not meant to be privy to that information, saying such conduct by an NPA official violated the Constitution.

“The disdain with which they discussed Mr Zuma, a discussion between a prosecutor and an outsider, seeking to trap Mr Zuma so that they know that he’ll go to court. That conduct of prosecutors should not be tolerated.”

He says the former president’s name is now synonymous with corruption and has carried this social stigma for so long because of unreasonable delays to his corruption case.