In South Africa, the embattled president of the ruling African National Congress party is asking a Constitutional Court to strike down a recent court ruling, which would allow documents seized from him and his lawyer to be used in his corruption trial. The documents allegedly contain proof of bribes Jacob Zuma reportedly solicited. Zuma was fired as South Africa’s deputy president over corruption allegations. He is scheduled to go on trial for corruption, money laundering, fraud and racketeering in August.
Adams Habib is a South African political analyst. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from Johannesburg that he is not surprised about Zuma’s legal move.
“Again we shouldn’t be surprised by this. We’ve known for sometime now that his legal team has indicated that they were going to do this all that the announcement today that that process has began and that the papers have been filed in this regard is simply a reinforcement of what people were expecting for a number of months now. What it does point to is that this court case would not be easily resolved, and that it’s likely to be drawn out, there is likely to be a legal skirmish over every single legal rule over the next couple of year,” Habib said.
He reckoned a drawn out legal tussle in the graft case against Zuma.
“I think we should anticipate that this would be a long drawn out trial probably taking a number of years. And it is probably going to take place within the electoral campaign that would start in June this year and would probably also exist in the course of Jacob Zuma even assuming the presidency if he were to do so after 2009,” he said.
Habib said although the graft case against Zuma could take long, it is however not yet certain the ANC president would be the presidential candidate of the party in the 2009 presidential election.
“I don’t think we should assume that it will take one year. I think most people are assuming that it might take three to four years. So there is a distinct possibility that you could have a sitting president of South Africa confronting a trial simultaneously. And if that were to happen obviously, for the period of time that he were president, the case, I presume would be suspended. But we would be in a new trend and it would be on a completely uncertain ground were we to reach that point. I will like to say however, that there is no ultimate guarantee although the ANC has signaled that Jacob Zuma would be their presidential candidate, it’s worth bearing in mind that there is a huge contestation within the ANC,” Habib pointed out. And there has been an idea mooted that Jacob Zuma should remain president of the ANC why Kgalema Motlanthe should become ANC candidate for state president,” Habib pointed out.
Meanwhile, Zuma’s attorney Michael Hulley has said that prosecutors and the elite anti-corruption unit violated their rights when they raided properties belonging to Zuma and Hulley in 2005.