Edward Zuma accuses State of victimising his father, Jacob

Former President Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales face charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering linked to the multi-billion-rand Arms Deal.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma in court on 23 May 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN - Former President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, on Tuesday accused the State of wasting taxpayers’ money by pursuing the case against his father.

Zuma and French arms company Thales face charges of fraud, corruption, and racketeering linked to the multi-billion-rand Arms Deal.

From 2003–2020: Zuma’s corruption trial 17 years in the making

The former president appeared in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday where the matter was postponed to 8 September after the State requested more time to prepare its case.

State prosecutor Billy Downer said that while they were ready to start with the trial against Zuma and Thales, it could be difficult getting some witnesses who were abroad to testify in the matter due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Edward Zuma said that the State was victimising his father.

“We are unhappy and I think it has to go to a level wherein they themselves should make an application to strike this matter off the roll because they don’t know what they want from Mr Zuma,” he said.

The former president’s son said the State had no case against his father and suspected that the matter would be postponed again in September.

CALL FOR INQUIRY INTO SA JUDICIARY

At the same time, Zuma’s supporters on Tuesday called for a commission of inquiry into the politicisation of the judicial system.

The former president had previously argued that charges against him were initiated by his political adversaries and his supporters wanted this claim to be investigated.

Former eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede’s spokesperson, Mzomuhle Dube, said that Zuma, like his boss, were victims of a judicial system that was being used to fight political battles.

He said that this needed to be resolved.

“Seemingly we are missing a lot of things in between and we can’t be consistently be having similarities in different cases for different prominent people who are leaders of the ANC,” Dube said.

Legal expert Mannie Witz said that those who suspected that the judiciary was captured by politicians should present evidence.

“If there is anything untoward or unfair that affects either the former president or any other person in his/her position, the preceding judge will make the necessary legal findings,” he said.

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