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NPA: No evidence to prove Zuma case politically motivated

This is one of the three themes the National Prosecuting Authority's Advocate Wim Trengove will address in arguments on Thursday.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 21 May 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Pietermaritzburg High Court has heard that there was not a single shred of evidence to support the claim that the prosecution of former President Jacob Zuma was politically motivated.

This was one of the three themes the National Prosecuting Authority's Advocate Wim Trengove was addressing in argument on Thursday.

Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales have approached the courts for a permanent stay of prosecution in a case related to the controversial arms deal.

Trengove set out two of the three issues he will traverse first.

“The first is Mr Zuma’s defence. The second will be the decision to prosecute Mr Zuma, as there is not a shred of evidence that their decisions were politically motivated.”

The third issue relates to what Trengrove referred to as the "deceitful trickery of Thales".

“We will submit information about the dishonest way they escaped prosecution with Mr (Schabir) Shaik. This is important.”

WATCH LIVE: NPA argues against granting Zuma stay of prosecution

LUXURIOUS LITIGATION

The NPA has argued that Zuma cannot claim to have been prejudiced by the delay in his prosecution because the delay was of his own making.

Trengove said Zuma engaged in a Stalingrad defence in order to delay proceedings.

“Even if you conclude it was a good faith exercise, it still means it was by the exercise of his rights that the criminal prosecution was delayed.”

Trengrove added that the litigation was conducted at public expense.

“We know from the Zuma fees court judgment that the cost to the taxpayer was between R16 million and R32 million. So, it was luxurious litigation over about 14 years, the effect which was to delay. All of it was ultimately unsuccessful.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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