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Jacob Zuma and South African Prosecutors Battle Over Corruption Probe Documents


The legal battle resumes this week between former South African deputy president Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority, the NPA. An appeals court will decide whether the NPA can seize thousands of documents in its corruption probe of Zuma.

VOA reporter Delia Robertson is following the story. From Johannesburg, she spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the court hearings.

“In a sense, it’s the same old battle. It’s about documents that were seized from him and from his lawyers and from the French company Thint, who…was accused of seeking to bribe him. So, what is happening now is this sort of technical debate around these matters, about what access…the National Prosecuting Authority will have to certain documents and what Mr. Zuma is trying to prevent them having access to,” she says.

In cases involving Zuma’s lawyers, the NPA is seeking some 90,000 documents.

There are several fronts in the legal battle. Robertson says, “This week there will be three hearings. They will all be held by the appeal court in Bloemfontein, a full panel of the appeal court, and they relate to different elements. One relates to documents from his attorney Mike Hulley. The other relates to documents from his attorney Ms. (Julie) Mahomed. And the other relates to documents seized from Mr. Zuma himself. And then in addition to that there are applications that are ongoing that we won’t have hearings for this week regarding attempts by the state to gain access to records in both the United Kingdom and Mauritius.”

Later this year, Zuma is expected to seek the presidency of the ruling ANC party. Many observers believe that would act as a springboard for a campaign to become South African president to succeed Thabo Mbeki.