Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Zuma: case struck off the roll

By Nadia Samie
20 September 2006

Former deputy president Jacob Zuma’s corruption case has been struck from the roll in the Pietermaritzburg High Court earlier today. Zuma stood accused of accepting a R500 000 a year bribe from French arms manufacturing company Thales International. Two Thint companies are co-accused in the case.

Presiding Judge Herbert Msimang said he saw no reason for him to give the State a postponement as it had requested, and he was left with no choice but to strike the case from the roll.

Msimang said he needed to take the "spirit of the Constitution" into account when making a judgment, pointing out that the prosecution's case depended on the outcome of appeals against search and seizure raids.

Msimang said Zuma had suffered social prejudice. He said the state's decision to prosecute was "anchored" on unsound principles. The thousands of people gathered outside the court in support of the ANC deputy leader began cheering and dancing. A large group of chiefs in traditional clothing ran out of the courtroom to break the news to the masses.

Delivering judgment, Msimang said Zuma had to be treated the same as any other person, irrespective of his position in the country.

Pic: Reuters

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