A South African constitutional Court will decide Thursday
whether documents seized from the president of the ruling African National
Congress (ANC), Jacob Zuma, and his attorney could be used by the prosecution
during his corruption trial. Zuma claimed his constitutional right was
infringed upon after South Africa's police raided his house and his attorney's
office seizing thousands of documents. The Supreme Court ruled last year that
the documents seized could be used as evidence against Zuma in his corruption
of Zuma have thrown their weight behind him, insisting that the corruption
charges against the ANC leader are politically motivated to thwart his
presidential ambition. Zuma is expected to win South Africa's general elections
this year to succeed President Thabo Mbeki due to the overwhelming support the
ANC enjoys. Professor Shardrack Gutto is a constitutional law expert. He tells
reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Pretoria that he is not surprised Zuma
is enjoying enormous support from the rank and file of the ANC in his
think it is not something which is surprising. This has been on the cards since
last year and even before that. But particularly at the Polokwane conference in
December, where they said they were going to support him all through.
Otherwise, they wouldn't have elected him at that point because he was already
facing very serious charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering,"
Gutto pointed out.
said Zuma supporters have been resolute in their unflinching loyalty to the ANC
the fact that despite all of that, he was able to be elected means that he is
quite popular, and therefore their support for him is nothing that comes as a
surprise. It is something that they have at least the electorate within the
African National Congress really believes that they are doing the right thing
to nominate him and to support him all through. And they have been trying to do
it using various methods, both political and legal," he said.
said it appears the ANC leader may be enjoying some preferential treatment in
his corruption trial case.
is an element of that of course he is posting the taxpayer a lot of money
because his legal fees are mostly paid by the state, but not all of it because
he is making all sorts of applications left, centre and right. And to that
extent, we have also seen fundraising for Zuma last week. So, he is also
getting a lot of support from a lot of business people. So I believe it is
important at one point to get to the crux of the matter, have the trials to go
on, or have the trial terminated. But through a legitimate legal process, not
through intimidation or demonstrations as the ANC is trying to do," Gutto said.
said the prosecutor in Zuma's corruption trial would have a Herculean task
during the trial.
believe if I was a prosecutor, I will do my best. There are facts and there is
the law, and I will try to present the facts within the law before a court of
law. And it is up to the judges to weigh whether or not there has been proof
beyond all reasonable doubt that any of the crimes or all of them that he is
alleged to have committed were committed or not. Or they were not you acquit
him. If they were, you have to convict him. And that to me is the independence
of the judiciary and the integrity of the legal system," he said.