‘I won’t go down alone’ Zuma fingers Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela as benefactors of Arms Deals
Well, it seems as if the arms deal corruption trial of Jacob Zuma is taking a new twist. However, Jacob Zuma and his legal team have made it known that the former president won’t be going down alone as the sacrificial lamb. Zuma and his legal team have implicated former South African presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
He has dropped a bombshell that is even implicating the ANC into the corruption scandal. Jacob Zuma has requested some database from ANC so that he can prove his innocence.
So far it has emerged that although the letters of requests were sent to at least 11 organisations, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the ruling ANC top the list.
The foundation and the ruling party were both served with their letters on July 21 and 22 this year and were asked to furnish the information by July 26 and 30, 2021 respectively.
Although it appears that the requests are solely meant to help Zuma’s defence team, somehow it implicates the third parties in accepting questionable “donations” from companies and individuals linked to companies that won tenders during the multi-billion arms deal of 1998-99.
‘I won’t go down alone’ Zuma Points finger at Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela as benefactors of Arms Deals
During the procurement of modern arms for the South African military, the State in its charge sheet of Zuma which is before the Pietermaritzburg High Court alleges that Zuma used his political clout as the deputy president of the ANC (from 1997) and later of the country (from 1999) to help Durban businessman, Schabir Shaik and his companies under Nkobi Holdings, to score arms deal tenders.
Nkobi-owned companies were BEE partners to Thales, a French arms company that also won tenders. In return, the State alleges that Thales paid bribes to Zuma using Shaik who was also a financial adviser to Zuma.
It is this case that Zuma and his lawyers are now defending and in order to successfully do so, they want the information to prove that some organisations allegedly got “donations” from winning bidders.
“We are in the middle of this preparation of the defence of this aforementioned trial on the corruption, fraud and money laundering charges and are instructed that the ANC has the information that is related to his defences.
“Important to our client’s defence is that he was not involved at all in any protection to any person or any company in return for financial rewards while he served the ANC,” reads part of the letter sent to the ANC.
Writing an almost identical letter to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the lawyers said Zuma wants to prove his innocence using the information in their possession.