Maimane to Ramaphosa: Confirm state won’t pay for Zuma’s ‘stalling tactic’

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to confirm that the state will not pay for former President Jacob Zuma’s “latest stalling tactic.”

On Tuesday, Zuma’s lawyer Thabani Masuku told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Zuma will be appealing the recent dismissal of his application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

The matter relates to 18 corruption-related charges Zuma faces dating back to 2005.

‘Stalling tactic’

In a statement, Maimane referred to Zuma’s appeal as a “stalling tactic.” He said he would write to Ramaphosa to get his confirmation “in writing.”

Maimane also wants Ramaphosa to provide an update on the state’s process of recovering public funds that paid for Zuma’s “decade-long plan to escape accountability.”

In December 2018, the Pretoria High Court ruled that Zuma must refund the state. His leave to appeal that ruling failed in June this year.

The amount Zuma owes the state as a result of the ruling reportedly runs into millions of rand, according to TimesLIVE.

‘We will not relent’

Maimane indicated that the DA will continue pursuing the matter.

He said, “The DA is committed to seeing justice done, and we will continue to fight for accountability at all levels of government. We will not relent until Jacob Zuma is held to account for his corrupt actions.”

Zuma’s charges relate to 783 payments, amounting to around R4 million, he allegedly received from his ex-financial advisor Schabir Shaik and his companies.

In his permanent stay of prosecution application, Zuma’s lawyers had argued that the state’s 15-year delay in charging him, as well as alleged political interference, meant he couldn’t get a fair trial.

However, the application was dismissed. The former president has until 1 November to file his appeal, with the hearing set for 22 November.

If his appeal fails, a pre-trial date has been set for 4 February 2020. Full trial is slated for 30 April, 2020.

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