- Legal experts agree that Zuma could only be considered as a state witness if he could offer a conviction of greater value than himself
- Even if it were to convict the Guptas there is enough evidence to successfully bring a case against them to trial
- Zuma's other potential charges of corruption and racketeering also rule him out as a credible witness
The whole concept of offering amnesty for someone turning state witness lies in the simple rule of supply and demand. In order for the state to consider offering the amnesty, the accused must offer up a conviction of someone of greater value than themselves.
For Jacob Zuma, this is simply not possible. According to attorney Tony Miguel, section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act allows for state witnesses to receive amnesty. This is only used when the state requires the cooperation of a witness who our party to a crime to testify.
"The reason for section 204 was to enable the state to use the evidence of people lower in importance than the kingpin in order to secure the conviction,” said Wits associate law professor and practising advocate Professor James Grant.
According to Grant, there would be no rational reason to offer amnesty to Zuma or enter into a plea bargain.
Briefly.co.za learned that a plea bargain would also not be an option as he would have to give evidence against someone who was way more important than him, and there just isn’t. It would be absolutely irrational,” Grant said according to the citizen.co.za.
However, Attorney Tracy Lomax has said that Zuma's testimony would be instrumental in securing a conviction against the Guptas.
Lomax conceded that Zuma's testimony would not necessarily be needed in the wake of the mounds of evidence which implicate the Guptas.
In light of Zuma's other pending charges of corruption and racketeering, it would make little sense to offer him amnesty. The only situation where Section 204 would be considered as if the Guptas were the masterminds behind state capture.
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