Sunday 16 May 2021


Former president Jacob Zuma is set to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday on charges of racketeering, two counts of corruption and 12 counts of fraud — nine of which were for allegedly making false income tax returns.

All these are included in a 90-page indictment served on Zuma on March 23, 2018 by the prosecution.

Detailing allegations against Zuma, the State alleges that between October 25, 1995 and July 1, 2005, the Nkobi Group and Thales formed a common purpose to bribe the former president while he was MEC for Economic Affairs in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature and later when he was deputy president of South Africa.

According to the indictment, the two groups paid an amount of R4 million through 783 payments to Zuma.

The State alleges that some of the scheduled payments were described in Nkobi Group documents as loans, although the treatment was inconsistent.

“The final accounting treatment of R1 137 722,48 of the total payments of R4 072 499,85 does not reflect the payments as loans. However, the scheduled payments were intended by Schabir Shaik, the Nkobi Group and the present accused as bribes.

“The funds were paid without security. This is not a usual commercial practice with banks, more specifically of a customer with Zuma’s risk profile. This accordingly constitutes a benefit,” the State alleges.

Contesting claims that the monies were loans given to Zuma, the State is expected to argue that the Nkobi Group made no effort to recover any of the payments from Zuma.

“This failure to demand repayment is itself a benefit to Zuma. Shaik did not intend to enforce the terms of the ’loan’ and neither has he done so. This is a benefit,” the indictment alleges.

The prosecution alleges that the initial payments were made to Zuma while he was MEC for Economic Affairs in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature.

According to the charge sheet, South Africa’s interim Constitution and final Constitution imposed certain duties upon Zuma by virtue of his office as an MEC of a province.

“In terms of Section 149 of the interim Constitution, Zuma may not have taken up any other paid employment, engaged in any activities inconsistent with his membership of the executive council, or exposed himself to any situation which carried with it the risk of a conflict between his responsibilities as a member of the executive council and his private interest; or used his position as MEC to enrich himself or any other person.”

The State also alleges that the Constitution also barred him from gaining additional income. — Political Bureau


Post a Comment