Zuma's indictment: Details on political bribes totalling R4 million

Zuma's indictment: Details on political bribes totalling R4 million

- The NPA has released the 89-page document detailing payments to Zuma for "political protection"

- The bribes began in October 1995, and continued until July 2005, with payments totalling R4,072,499.85

- Zuma's trial has been postponed until June 8, and his legal team is said to be bringing a review application before the court

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has released the 89-page document detailing their indictment of Zuma, and French-owned arms dealer Thales South Africa, who paid and accepted bribes for “political protection”.

The indictment shows accused number one, Zuma, is facing one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

Accused number two, Thales - represented by Christine Guerrier - faces one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption and one count of money-laundering.

At the time of the alleged bribes, Zuma held "several high ranking offices in the provincial and national executive and in the African National Congress (ANC)" and effectively abused the trust and power of his position to enrich himself, Briefly.co.za gathered.

The indictment stated the relationship between the two accused, and Schabir Shaik and the companies he controlled, was formed on or near October 25, 1995, until July 1, 2005, with 783 payments made totalling R4,072,499.85.

In February 1999, an amount of over R1.20 million was irregularly written off in the Nkobi accounting records, raising the red flag on the relationship between Zuma and Shaik.

Included in the amount were various payments made to Zuma of over R283,000 as a loan.

READ ALSO: Opinion: Zuma seems about to destroy the ANC

Lacking Business Sense

The indictment said the payments made "no legitimate business sense" nor could any of Shaik's companies afford them as they were "exceeding bank overdrafts and thus effectively borrowing money from banks at the prevailing interest rates to make the payments, interest-free".

In 1999, Zuma intervened and assisted Shaik, the Nkobi Group and Thales Group to "resolve a dispute... regarding Nkobi's participation" in African Defence Systems, which shortly thereafter landed a multi-billion rand contract from the state to provide combat suits to Corvettes supplied to the navy.

The contract was worth R1.3-billion, with R450-million going directly to ADS and the balance going to subcontractors.

This was a clear instance where Nkobi obtained the assistance of Zuma for the group's survival and where Thales was assured of "approval" by the deputy president of the ANC, for its choice of a South African BEE partner.

Under a section called "specific corruption", it stated that between 1999 and 2000, Thales, Shaik and Zuma "conspired" to pay Zuma "R500,000 per annum as a bribe in exchange for Zuma's protection".

Thales, using an offshore company in Mauritius, made payments totalling R1-million to Shaik's companies under the guise of "service provider agreement" which was then funnelled to Zuma.

Zuma and Guerrier appeared briefly before the Durban High Court on Friday where the matter was postponed until June 8.

Zuma’s legal team will bring a review application – possibly by May 15 - on the decision to prosecute him.

Depending on the outcome, an application could be made for a permanent stay of prosecution.

READ ALSO: Mourners honour Mama Winnie by singing, dancing and rejecting a Zuma song

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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