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Jacob Zuma files papers with Supreme Court of Appeal

20 December 2019 - 07:45 By KARYN MAUGHAN
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Image: David Harrison

Former president Jacob Zuma, who faces the prospect of a 25-year jail term if found guilty of corruption, insists he has been “used as a scapegoat” in the multibillion-rand arms deal.

If the state was “genuine” about investigating the arms deal, Zuma contends, it should have investigated “others closer to decision making”, including his political nemesis, former president Thabo Mbeki.

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. He contends his appeal “bears more than a reasonable prospect of success”.

In his application to the high court, 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.

He said another court may well agree with him.

However, in their ruling in November, three judges said Zuma had to convince them “on proper grounds” that he had a realistic prospect of success on appeal. They said he had failed to do this.

They also ruled against a similar application by French arms company Thales, Zuma’s co-accused in the corruption trial.

Full report in today's Business Day