‘I never participated in the arms deal,’ declares Jacob Zuma

Photo: Business Live

SOUTH AFRICA. – Former South African President Jacob Zuma has lashed out at his detractors who want him to have his day in court for the charges he faces over his involvement in the arms deal.

In a teaser for the season finale of the YouTube video series, titled Zooming with Zumas, by the former statesman and his son Duduzane Zuma, he declares that the accusations made about his involvement in the arms deal are hogwash.

“I never participated”

“I never participated in the arms deal. I was just an MEC in the KwaZulu-Natal government when all that happened,” he declared.

Face and victimization

Zuma has thrown cold water on the whole arms deal debacle labelling it as a farce and a victimization process. He notes that others who have been accused of being involved in the deal are free while he is being persecuted to face charges.

No evidence

“I have been referred to as the most corrupt politician for my so-called involvement in that deal. But they [my accusers] have failed to bring forth any evidence to the same when I have demanded,” Zuma pronounces. He adds that instead of going back and forth to court and appealing for permanent stays of prosecution, he then decided to go to trial. He emphasises that; “Going to trial is the only means to show us where the corruption is!”

Using the system

“As far as I am concerned, my enemies and people who hate me for other things I have no knowledge about, are using the system to rubbish my name and destroy me. That is my biggest, and only worry about this matter. I served 10 years in prison during apartheid when I had done nothing except fight for my country. I am ready to face trial and prove my innocence,” he maintains.

No been easy on family

According to Duduzane, the whole arms deal saga and the resulting court battles have not been easy on him and his siblings. “As youngsters and as your [Zuma’s] children, the media publicity that this matter has received has affected us a lot. Not a month passes by without it being covered at least two or three times,” he reveals. He elaborates that personally; he has his own misgivings about the manner in which the whole arms deal matter was handled. “I have my own suspicions regarding the manner in which this matter was handled. I have raised the same with the relevant authorities. We are always highly anxious as we sit through the court case because we realise that it is not a straight and clear case,” the younger Zuma noted.

The former president faces charges linked to the multi-billion-rand arms deal. The matter is set to go to trial on June 23 although there have been a number of postponements before. – Andrew Ngozo

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