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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU condemns the continuing violation of Jacob Zuma's human rights

28-12-07

The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who yesterday, 28 December 2007, served the ANC President, Jacob Zuma, with an indictment to stand trial on the 14 August 2008 for allegations of corrupti on, fraud, racketeering and money-laundering.

This charges seem to be inspired by the special browse report, which the government dismissed as the work of the disgruntled apartheid era intelligence operatives. We rejected that explanation and we were correct!

It is clear that Jacob Zuma's human rights, including the right to a speedy and fair trial, have been systematically and grossly violated. We recall that he has been a subject of investigation since 2000. Justice that has been delayed is justice denied!

By the time his so-called trial begins it will be the 8th year since he was first investigated. We also recall that the NPA charged him and later could not produce an indictment or charges, forcing Judge Msimang to strike the case off the roll.

We are convinced that Jacob Zuma will not have a fair trial. We are in full support of his lawyer's decision to apply for permanent stay of prosecution.

The timing of the indictment has all the hallmarks of vengeance, deep-seated anger and frustration by the NPA and whoever else is behind this. It is barely two weeks since Jacob Zuma's election as the President of the ANC. It is in the middle of a festive season. The only reason to serve the indictment during this period, for a trial that will only commence 8 months from now, is that those behind this move aim to disrupt his well-deserved rest. It indicates a level of personal anger against him.

This powerfully reinforces our belief that this has, from the outset, been a politically inspired campaign, and that state institutions have been, and are still being, manipulated and used to settle factional battles within the movement.

COSATU reiterate its demands that all the charges against the ANC President be dropped. Instead of going ahead with these trumped up charges, we demand full and judiciary investigations into all of the following issues.

1. The arms deal and all allegations of corruption related to it;

2. The saga of 'hoax' emails revealing a plot against Jacob Zuma, and the way it was handled by some of the former ANC leaders;

3. The unsatisfactory handling of the former leadership of the 'special browse mole consolidated report' which originates from NPA;

4. The suspension of the NPA Director Advocate Vusi Pikoli, and media reports suggesting that the real reason relates to the issuing of a warrant against SAPS Commissioner Jackie Selebi, and government opposition to this.

COSATU is in consultation with its affiliates on the course to be followed in response to this political prosecution. Workers will not allow the NPA and whoever is handling them to abuse its powers in this manner. We are more convinced than ever that South Africa faces a major constitutional crisis.

We call upon the membership of the ANC and its allies to rally around their newly elected ANC President. This requires that the new ANC NEC discuss this matter, including the calls that COSATU is making and respond appropriately.

COSATU's call for unity following the ANC conference does not mean we will tolerate the kind of machinations that were the hallmarks of the previous period. We demand an end to all these acts that left the ANC so divided in the run-up to its 52nd national conference.

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