Zuma claims he’s suffered more than anyone else in post-democratic SA

The president reportedly believes the way the NPA has treated him is ‘grotesque’.

In an affidavit reportedly filed as part of his bid to have his corruption prosecution stopped, former president Jacob Zuma claims no one else has suffered as much “personal and political prejudice” since the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

He has accused the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of mistreating and humiliating him, to such an extent that his suffering has been unparalleled.

Times Select reports that Zuma and his lawyers have repeated their long-held claimed that the arms deal investigation against him was politically manipulated and processes were abused, and that Zuma became a “career obsession” for some prosecutors.

Zuma once again referred to the so-called spy tapes as evidence that his case had been politically manipulated. The evidence of the tapes led to charges being dropped prior to Zuma becoming president, but the courts later ruled that should not have happened.

The recordings revealed a discussion between former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka and former Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy discussing the timing of recharging Zuma.

In 2017 the appeals court confirmed a high court decision that then NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe had erred in making the call to drop charges in 2009.

Zuma now reportedly says in his latest affidavit that he has seen evidence from NPA documents that his legal team has recently been given access to that he was indeed unfairly targeted.

Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution for his corruption trial is set to be heard over three days from May 20.

The trial, which is yet to begin, is linked to the controversial R60 billion defence force arms deal concluded in 1999, which saw several multinational companies around the world providing technology and equipment.

It is alleged that multinational arms company Thales paid bribes to Zuma — via Zuma’s then financial adviser Schabir Shaik — in order to protect the company from a probe into the arms deal, in which Thales had secured a lucrative R2.6 billion contract to supply combat systems for the South African navy.

It is claimed that Thales paid Zuma — who was deputy president of the country at the time — R500,000 a year for political cover.

Zuma and Thales have both asked the court to stop the prosecution.

In an earlier affidavit, Zuma said his prosecution had “all the attributes of a case that should be stayed permanently”.

“The delays have been extremely long, the pre-trial irregularities glaring. The prejudice to me is blatant. There are no victims or complainants and the political interference in the prosecution passes as other circumstances or factors the court should take into account,” said the affidavit.

In the affidavit submitted by Thales, company lawyer Christine Guerrier said the decision to reinstate the charges against the company was “unlawful” and that Thales’ “rights to a fair trial have been violated”.

The company has cited the long delay as an overriding factor and that the “employees involved in the events underpinning the charges are not available to provide [the company] with instructions … to assist [Thales] in presenting its defence at trial”.

Zuma is accused number one and is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud for allegedly receiving bribe money from Thales via Shaik.

Thales is accused number two and is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption and one count of money laundering.