President Jacob Zuma’s ten year legal battle to avoid prosecution on corruption charges continued in the Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday.
Zuma was accused of allegedly receiving inducements to use his political influence to affect the award of contracts for the 1999 acquisition of military equipment by the State.
“If the court rules against him, he has one further appeal available to him to the constitutional court. The constitutional court recently was made the apex court in our land on all matters. Previously the constitutional court only ruled on constitutional issues. If Mr Zuma is unsuccessful in the constitutional court then according to another case in the supreme court of appeal, the charges are automatically reinstated and he should be prosecuted on those charges,” South African Law professor, Steven Tuson said.
Jacob Zuma, was charged with 783 counts of bribery, tax evasion and extortion. But these prosecutions were annulled by the courts for lack of evidence.
Full of twists and turns, this political-judicial saga has been shaking South Africa since 1999.
“There was a decision to prosecute Jacob Zuma at the time. He should have been prosecuted at the time. It is actually outrageous that eight and a half years later and millions of rands of legal costs later, we get to the stage where we should have been in 2007,” representative of the Democratic Alliance, James Selfe said.
If the Supreme Court confirms the charges against president Zuma, this would open the door to a lawsuit against the South African head of state.