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'I was used!' Jacob Zuma claims

by Mandla Ndlovu
21 Dec 2019 at 13:43hrs | Views
Former South African President Jacob Zuma has claimed that he has been used as a scapegoat in the multibillion-rand arms deal.

Zuma says the state must investigate other decision makers like former President Thabo Mbeki.

South African media report that Zuma has petitioned the Appeal Court, after the Pietermaritzburg High Court refused his application for a permanent stay of his corruption prosecution and denied his application to appeal that decision.

Zuma had argued that his continued prosecution was a violation of his fair trial rights - because of the many delays in the matter which were not of his making - and a violation of his constitutional rights because of evidence of political interference during the investigation against him.

Zuma faces 25 years imprisonment if convicted.

The Strategic Defence Package or the Strategic Defence Acquisition, popularly referred to as the Arms Deal was a South African military procurement programme.It involved a US$4.8 billion (R30 billion in 1999 ) purchase of weaponry by the African National Congress government led by Nelson Mandela in 1999. It has been subject to repeated, seemingly substantive, allegations of corruption.

The Arms Deal was plagued by accusations of corruption and in 2011 President Zuma announced a commission of enquiry "into allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages".

The Commission was chaired by Judge Seriti, a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal and became known as the Seriti Commission.

British and German investigators suspect that bribes of over one billion rand were paid to facilitate the deal.Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Schabir Shaik and his brother Chippy Shaik, Fana Hlongwane have been mentioned. In March 2003, Tony Yengeni was convicted of defrauding parliament by accepting a bribe while handling the deal.

He was sentenced to four years in prison. Andrew Feinstein, an ANC Member of Parliament and the former African National Congress leader of Parliament's public accounts watchdog Scopa, resigned when the party moved to curtail investigations into the arms deal. He wrote a book called After the Party with an insider's view of the process.

Source - Byo24News