This is a response by City Sun News to an article that was published by Eyewitness News and written by Reuters dated 21 May 2016
Reuters wrote: “State prosecutors will respond on Monday to a court ruling ordering the review of its 2009 decision to drop 783 corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, a spokesman said on Friday. The High Court ruled last month that the April 2009 decision to drop the charges, which allowed Zuma to run for president in elections the same month, was irrational and should be reviewed.”
City Sun correction: it is very mischievous to suggest that charges against Zuma were dropped in order to allow him to run for president. What must be remembered is that these charges had been stricken off the roll by a court before they were re-instated. It must also be placed on record that the NPA gained access to a telephonic conversation between NPA prosecutor Mr McCarthy and Bulelani Ngcuka, where a decision was made to re-charge Zuma so that he could not run for president. The timing to re-charge him was questionable in that pressure was put on McCarthy to do it before the ANC conference that was in December 2009. People must also be reminded that the court decision to strike these charges off the roll was taken in September 2009 and the NPA made it a point that he is re-charge in November 2009.
Reuters wrote: “The hundreds of corruption charges relate to a major government arms deal arranged in the late 1990s.”
City Sun correction: The above is correct but it seems that Reuter does not want the public to recall that a judge that presided over the arms deal commission has already found that there was nothing wrong with the arms deal as he found not evidence of wrong doing or corruption activities. Whether these charges are hundreds or thousands, as long as they are linked to arms deal and there is a pronouncement by a judge, then it might be a wasteful exercise to present them to a court of law.
Reuter wrote: “Zuma said last month that an investigation into the deal had found no evidence of corruption or fraud. Critics denounced the findings as a cover-up and said they would continue to campaign for justice.”
City Sun correction: It is not correct that it is Zuma who said that there is no evidence of corruption or fraud but a reputable judge when he was reporting on the finding of the arms deal commission. It is not an accident that the Reuters conveniently avoids stating that it was a judge but opts to say it is Zuma who said so.
Reuters wrote: “The Constitutional Court, the country’s top court, found in March that Zuma breached the law by ignoring an order to repay some of the state funds spent on renovating his private residence.”
City Sun correction: It is not correct that there was an “order” to repay some of the state funds. The Public Protector’s report recommended remedial actions but her office does not have powers to issue orders of repayment by members of the executive. The court found that there was a breach by the President but also found that the breach had occurred simple because there was no order.
It is also a lie to suggest that the Public Protector’s findings dealt with what Reuters refer to as ‘renovations at his private residence.’ Madonsela’s finding were about 5 security features that were commissioned by the Department of Public Works and not renovations as always reported by media. Madonsela’s found that Zuma was correct when he said that renovation were started while he was the country’s deputy president.