Who must face music with Zuma? Crime charges laid against 10 others – and counting

In the absence of the law enforcement agencies taking proactive steps to investigate allegations contained in the Public Protector’s #StateCaptureReport, the Democratic Alliance has laid criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma and business players, politicians and others implicated in the abuse of state funds. The list contains few surprises, with most of the individuals having links to the controversial Indian Gupta family. Up for investigation are the President’s son, Duduzane; mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who is at the centre of allegations of irregular deals associated with the Gupta brothers; and Des van Rooyen, who was finance minister for only a weekend. Businessman Salim Essa, whose name pops up regularly around state capture scandals, is on the list as are Transnet chairperson Linda Mabaso and son Malcolm Mabaso, who has business interests in the transport sector and has been linked to Zwane. The DA has also asked for asset management boss Eric Wood of Trillian Capital Partners and Eskom board members, among others, to be investigated. The DA’s leader, Mmusi Maimane, says the charges of corruption and other crimes could very easily add up to hundreds of offences, with the preliminary allegations contained in the #StateCaptureReport just the tip of the iceberg. However, with law enforcement agencies and the prosecuting authority widely believed to be under the influence of Zuma, it might take some cajoling and pushing for the police to ensure they have their best – and impartial – detectives on the case. Zuma has already demonstrated prowess in wriggling out of crime charges. There’s a lot of ground to cover before South Africa sees anyone in court to answer to charges linked to corruption, though it’s possible the smaller players with more tenuous links to the land’s most powerful could face the music sooner rather than later. – Jackie Cameron

By Tshidi Madia

Johannesburg – The DA laying criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma is an attempt to divert attention from its failed Constitutional Court case, the ANC said on Tuesday.

“The desperation by the DA to destabilise South Africa, including its judiciary, must be rejected,” ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

Jacob Zuma
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

He was referring to the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of a DA application to have South Africa’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court declared invalid.

Kodwa claimed the party then opened a case of corruption against Zuma to deflect attention from the ICC matter.

He made the comments just hours after DA leader Mmusi Maimane laid criminal charges against Zuma at the Rosebank, Cape Town, police station.

Maimane said they believed former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report provided extensive prima facie evidence of corruption.

Ideological issues

Kodwa said Madonsela’s report was inconclusive and she did not single out specific parties or individuals in wrongdoing.

Judges needed to resist the temptation to become involved in any political or ideological issues.

He criticised the DA for trying to take the ICC matter to the highest court in the land. There were no constitutional issues behind the decision to withdraw from the ICC.

While the report did not apportion blame, the allegations it contained had to be verified, Kodwa said.

On October 21, Justice Minister Michael Masutha told reporters that South Africa had initiated the process of withdrawing from the ICC by notifying the United Nations of its intention to revoke its ratification of the Rome Statute, which established the court.

The decision followed several court judgments that the government violated the law by not arresting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to South Africa in June last year. The ICC wants him to stand trial on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/desperate-da-intent-on-using-courts-at-all-costs-anc-20161116

Democratic Alliance statement

The following remarks were made by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, outside the Rosebank Police Station in Johannesburg on 15 November. 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has today laid criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma, and his band of cronies, for their role in aiding, promoting and benefiting from the corrosive project of State Capture in South Africa.

Leader of South Africa's Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance (DA) Mmusi Maimane. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

President Zuma, the Guptas, and their compromised buddies have run amok over the last few years, abusing their power to make themselves rich, while the majority of South Africans still live in poverty and without the hope of finding a job. From creating “conditional” cabinet appointments, to influencing and fixing government contracts for personal financial benefit – we have seen it all.  We cannot sit back while Zuma runs an oligarchy at the expense of our beautiful country. Jacob Zuma and his co-conspirators must now face the legal consequences of their alleged misconduct.

We contend that the State of Capture report by former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, provides extensive prima facie evidence of corruption, undue influence and interference by President Zuma, members of the Gupta family and other actors – all to further their own personal interests at the expense of the South African people.

In my affidavit, I set out in detail the potential offences in terms of relevant legislation. These include (a) general corruption; (b) corrupt activities relating to contracts; (c) contempt, conspiracy and inducement of another person to contravene the POCA Act, and (d) a failure to discharge the legal duty to report corruption transactions. These possible contraventions relate to, amongst others, sections 3, 12(1), 21, and 34(1) & (2) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (POCA), the Public Protector Act, the Intimidation Act and the Public Finance Management Act.

The police must now launch an investigation into these criminal charges without delay. We will be closely monitoring the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ensure that it does its job and President Zuma & Co are fully prosecuted. These are serious charges and we cannot exempt anyone because of the political office they hold.

We maintain that these charges are not exhaustive, and once a thorough criminal investigation had been conducted into the matter, the total count of charges that could eventually be formulated might number in the hundreds, with the Public Protector’s report only scraping the tip of the iceberg.

We have requested that, in addition to President Zuma and the Guptas, the police investigate possible wrongdoing on behalf of the board members of Eskom, Mosebenzi Zwane, Salim Essa, Linda Mabaso, Malcolm Mabaso, Eric Wood, Kamal Singhala, Johannes Motseki, Pushpaveni Govender, Des van Rooyen, Duduzane Zuma and others.

Corruption is not a vague and intangible offence. It is neatly articulated in section 3 of the POCA act. And State Capture is simply another term for the calculated, long term project of corruption, which Jacob Zuma, together with his accomplices, have been carrying out for years.

The DA will make sure Jacob Zuma, and all those who aid and abet him, are held accountable for their flagrant abuse of power to make themselves rich – at the expense of the poor and the jobless.

SA opposition lays corruption charges against Zuma: The Bloomberg perspective

By Mike Cohen

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s main opposition party said it has laid criminal charges against President Jacob Zuma after a report by the nation’s graft ombudsman implied that he may have allowed members of the prominent Gupta family to influence cabinet appointments and the awarding of state contracts.

The Democratic Alliance also asked the police to investigate the Guptas and Zuma’s son, Duduzane, who is their business partner, as well as two cabinet ministers and several other people who were also implicated in the Public Protector’s report, Mmusi Maimane, the DA’s leader, said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

“President Zuma, the Guptas, and their compromised buddies have run amok over the last few years, abusing their power to make themselves rich, while the majority of South Africans still live in poverty and without the hope of finding a job,” Maimane said. “From creating ‘conditional’ cabinet appointments, to influencing and fixing government contracts for personal financial benefit, we have seen it all. Jacob Zuma and his co-conspirators must now face the legal consequences.”

Calls to the police station in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, where the DA said it was laying the charges, went unanswered.

In her report released Nov. 2, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela suggested Zuma and some of his ministers may have breached the government’s code of ethics in their dealings with the three Gupta brothers and may have given special treatment to a coal business owned by the family. Madonsela ordered the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate whether there had been any wrongdoing.

File Photo. President Jacob Zuma , Atul Gupta and Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kieviet at a New Age Breakfast in Port Elizabeth. www.flickr.com.
File Photo. President Jacob Zuma , Atul Gupta and Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kieviet. www.flickr.com.

Zuma and the Guptas deny ever having intentionally broken the law and are considering challenging Madonsela’s report in court.

The report provided extensive prima-facie evidence of corruption, undue influence and interference by Zuma, the Guptas and others, and the DA would ensure they were investigated and prosecuted, Maimane said. The party has tried unsuccessfully to force Zuma from office several times, most recently with a motion of no-confidence which African National Congress lawmakers quashed last week.

The DA has also been waging a court battle to force prosecutors to reinstate 783 graft charges against Zuma that were dropped just weeks before he became president in May 2009. Zuma appealed against an April 29 High Court finding that the decision to drop the charges was wrong, and the Supreme Court of Appeal is deciding whether to consider the case.