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News Alert: Calls for S.Africa's Vice President to step down

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  • pbs@iafrica.com
    From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org [It is my view that Zuma is probably no more corrupt than anyone else in the ANC. I m quite sure the kind of dealings he engaged in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2005
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      From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
      [It is my view that Zuma is probably no more corrupt than anyone else in
      the ANC. I'm quite sure the kind of dealings he engaged in is the norm
      for the whole lot of them. My view is that Mbeki and the ANC have a
      secret agenda. In 2009, Mbeki has to step down, and I don't think they
      want a Zulu ruling this country. I think the Xhosa cabal want to get rid
      of Zuma. I think he was appointed in the beginning to win the support of
      the Zulus. But I don't think they ever intended for him to really rule
      the country, and that is why only his dirty laundry has been exposed in
      all this. Shabir Shaik is the pawn with which they are taking him down.

      Even if Zuma does not resign now, I think this was intended to destroy
      his career so that Mbeki can choose another successor. Remember this
      name: Cyril Ramaphosa. Although he is not in politics at the moment,
      don't be surprised if he becomes South Africa's President one day. Jan]

      Schabir Shaik left the Durban High Court shortly after 1pm on Thursday
      after his bail of R100 000 was paid following his conviction on two
      counts of corruption and one of fraud relating to alleged irregular
      financial dealings with Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

      Asking for comment while pausing briefly on the steps, he said: "No,
      maybe after lunch we'll see what happens after that."

      As he walked to his car, he was swamped by media and members of the

      Earlier, senior investigator Johan du Plooy explained that Shaik
      initially paid R1 000 bail when he was charged. This was set on the
      presumption of innocence.

      As soon as he was found guilty, the amount was raised to R100 000.

      Du Plooy said he is relieved the case is finally over because of the hard
      work that went into it. It was a team effort and justice has prevailed.

      According to prosecutor Billy Downer, the state is to call another
      witness to the stand on Friday morning.

      Witness Hennie van Vuuren, from the Institute for Security Studies, will
      appear as the state starts its arguments for sentencing.

      The defence might also call witnesses, but all these details will be
      thrashed out when the High Court resumes at 2.15pm on Thursday.

      As Judge Hillary Squires pronounced Shaik guilty on charge one of
      corruption, Shaik started sipping water from a glass. As he moved to
      count two, he put the glass down. By count three, an ashen-faced Shaik
      stared ahead at the judge.

      Immediately after the proceedings, his wife, Zuleikha, ran out of the
      courtroom but soon rejoined him.

      It's the 'correct decision'
      Makhosini Nkosi, spokesperson for National Director of Public
      Prosecutions Vusi Pikoli, welcomed the decision. He said the judgement
      "vindicates our decision to charge Mr Shaik on all the charges on which
      he has been convicted".

      Prosecutor Billy Downer also welcomed the judgement. He said the
      prosecuting team "thought we had a good case" and that his team is
      humbled and appreciative of the judgement.

      Nkosi, speaking outside the High Court, said Pikoli will study the
      judgement -- together with his advisers -- and make a pronouncement on
      further action. He said Pikoli is "pleased with the judgement" and
      believes it is "the correct decision", noting that the prosecuting
      authority believed that on the basis of evidence it had a serious case.

      Pressed by a journalist for a second time whether 63-year-old Zuma -- who
      is in Zambia on an official visit to meet his counterpart -- would be
      prosecuted, Nkosi said he was "not going to answer that". Zuma has
      repeatedly refused to comment in recent days.

      It remains unclear whether Zuma's political career will be derailed by
      the judgement -- but a yet-to-be taken decision by the state to prosecute
      him could be key to answering that question.

      He has been publicly backed by the African National Congress Youth League
      as the preferred candidate for party president when President Thabo Mbeki
      retires from that position in 2007.

      The government has issued a statement indicating that it "respects" the
      findings of the court.

      Zuma's spokesperson Lakela Kaunda said: "Deputy President Jacob Zuma has
      noted the judgement in the Schabir Shaik trial in Durban. He will study
      the contents before making any detailed comments."

      Opposition Democratic Alliance leader Tony Leon, speaking to SAFM shortly
      after the judgement, said the judgement is "extraordinary" and has
      far-reaching implications.

      He said: "I like Jacob Zuma as a person ... but this judgement will dig
      the grave of Deputy President Zuma. It is impossible for him to continue
      in office, and he should step down."

      UDM calls for Zuma's dismissal
      The United Democratic Movement, accepting Judge Squires's judgement, has
      called for Zuma's dismissal.

      "South Africa's body politic has been tested to its very core. The former
      head of the Scorpions had said earlier that he was doubtful of a winnable
      case against Zuma despite having a prima facie case," UDM leader Bantu
      Holomisa said in a statement on Thursday.

      "During his judgement, Justice Squires has found that there is clear
      evidence of a corruptor [Mr Shaik] and a corruptee [Mr Zuma].

      "I think the time is ripe for the state to charge Mr Zuma now after the
      evidence has been tested and accepted before a court of law," Holomisa

      Mbeki will then need to decide whether a senior member of the executive
      can continue to serve while such serious charges are being considered
      before a court of law.

      "What is required now is decisive leadership. The president must now
      prove the commitment he made last week in Parliament, where he said that
      government would no longer tolerate members of the executive who abused
      their positions for personal gain."

      Holomisa added that the verdict throws into question the arms deal.

      "Evidence has been accepted that not only did Mr Shaik's brother inform
      him beforehand of the tendering processes, he even warned him of a
      potential threat to one of the arms deals in which Schabir Shaik was a

      "In turn, he phoned Mr Zuma to complain about this potential threat. It
      is significant that in the end, Shaik's company did receive a stake in
      the arms deal.

      "The implication is that it was as a result of Mr Shaik's political
      connections, and to the detriment of a better tender bid. Under such
      circumstances, we would expect a judicial commission of inquiry into the
      arms deal," Holomisa said.

      Source: Daily Mail & Guardian

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