7 December 2012

South Africa: President Zuma Must Take a Leave of Absence Until His Name Has Been Cleared

Photo: Presidency
President Jacob Zuma.

press release

The revelations today in the Mail & Guardian of the full extent of payments made to President Jacob Zuma, and of his financial situation, fully justify the need to review the decision to drop corruption charges against the President. The DA calls on President Zuma to do the honourable thing and take a leave of absence from his office until all allegations against him have been dealt with.

The reports today reveal the various payments and favours received by Mr Zuma, which were included in a forensic audit report by KPMG. This report was prepared ahead of Mr Zuma's high court appearance in 2006, when he was to appear on corruption charges, but it never saw the light of day once the charges were dropped. It has remained hidden despite all the legal challenges against the President since then.

The report highlights both dodgy payments to Mr Zuma as well as his inability to manage his own finances.

The DA has been waiting since March this year for the record of decision which led to the corruption charges being dropped. Both the National Prosecuting Authority and Mr Zuma's legal team have used every delaying tactic in the book to ensure that we do not obtain this record.

It now appears, based on the additional information in both today's Mail & Guardian and a previous report in the Sunday Times, that there are sufficient grounds to establish that the decision to drop charges against President Zuma was both irrational and unlawful.

The DA believes that we are quite possibly justified in going directly to court to review this decision without having to wait for the record.

Subject to the advice of our advocates, this is exactly what we propose to do.

The full story will come out eventually, but until then President Zuma must take a leave of absence from his office until these allegations have been proved or discounted.

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