President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that his predecessor, Jacob Zuma will appear before the nation’s courts and will get a fair trial. The African National Congress president was speaking on France24 on Sunday in an interview in Paris. He said the charges against Zuma were not part of a witch-hunting process as some have alluded to. “He knows very well our justice system is a fair justice system and our democracy is a robust democracy that enables all these things to happen. There will be a fair trial, there will be a fair process that not only former president Zuma has to go through, but anyone who is found to be needing to go through a process like this,” said Ramaphosa in the interview.
Zuma is facing corruption, racketeering, and money laundering charges linked to the arms deal of the late 90s. He is being charged together with the French arms-dealing company, Thales. Zuma has insisted that the charges are trumped up and has produced the so-called spy tapes to try and prove that. His legal team recently handed over a special plea in which they have asked the leading prosecutor in the case, Downer to recuse himself on the grounds of misconduct. Downer is the one who prosecuted businessman and Zuma’s ally, Shabir Shaik. Shaik was sentenced to two terms of 15-years for corruption and one term of three years for fraud.
Turning to the issue of the State Capture commission, Ramaphosa said that he felt that it would be fair to leave the question of whether Zuma would be appearing at the commission to the courts. He was referring to the former president’s stunt that he pulled when he walked out of the hearing. The Zondo Commission is seeking to find what happened during and prior to Zuma’s term when a lot of corruption seemed to go on unabated. Zuma has repeatedly insisted that he would not be going back to the commission, leading to a warrant of his arrest. “The matter now is before the courts. I prefer to leave all that view and judgment to the courts,” Ramaphosa said.