ANC chief Zuma is not above suspicion in spying, money laundering case: Experts

April 7th, 2009 - 1:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Cape Town (South Africa), Apr.7 (ANI): Experts and commentators on politics in South Africa are of the unanimous view that African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma involvement in a spying and money laundering case is not above suspicion.

Tapes suggesting political meddling has failed to clear the name of Zuma, the country’s likely next president, commentators said Monday.

“The whole question of whether Zuma is guilty is as unsettled as before and will never be settled,” the South African Press Association (SAPA) quoted political analyst Steven Friedman, as saying.

“It is not good for our system, it is not a healthy situation. I’m not saying he’s guilty, but he at the very least, he ought to be aware that he has a credibility problem and needs to address that problem,” Friedman added.

Constitutional law expert Shadrack Gutto agreed, saying since the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) stated clearly on Monday that it had been given no reason to change its mind about the merit of its corruption, fraud, racketeering and money laundering case against Zuma, suspicions remained.

“The NPA indicated very clearly from the outset that, on merit, nothing could make them change their mind, which means there is still a very strong case against Jacob Zuma.”

Gutto said the NPA had acted within its rights to decide not to prosecute, but questioned whether the body had not bowed to political pressure, including a sustained propaganda campaign, to scrap the case against Zuma.

“The question is whether there was any pressure and indeed we have for weeks been bombarded with information, via certain leaks to the media, indicating that the charges would be dropped before there was any decision. From that point of view we can question whether this is not tantamount to political pressure,” Gutto added.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said he believed the NPA was “on very thin ice” in its reasons for scrapping the case.

Other legal experts studying the case said McCarthy and Ngcuka could claim that they had been defamed but said the NPA could counter that it was in the public interest to reveal the content of the phone recordings. (ANI)

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