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ANC will stand behind Zuma – Mantashe

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ANC will stand behind Zuma – Mantashe

Photo by Duane Daws
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe

13th October 2017

By: News24Wire

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The African National Congress (ANC) intends on standing behind President Jacob Zuma following a damning judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Friday at the veterans' league elective conference in the East Rand.

"Do we do what is fashionable to say? Yes, he has a lot of charges, he must leave; or are we going to bring wisdom [on] managing this crisis point facing the movement? I am [a] firm believer in being systematic in dealing [with] things," he said.

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He cautioned against taking an emotional decision against Zuma for instant gratification. "I don't believe in this thing of being emotional in taking decisions. You get instant satisfaction and at the end [you] have regrets. It actually flattens you."

He said that the judgment had taken the party back to its 2007 days when Zuma was facing corruption charges. He then asked veterans to advise the party.

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"We are back to that point. What do you advise us to do?"

He advised the alliance, specifically the South African Communist Party (SACP), to stop being "adventurous" or "populist".

"It must be scientific. Once we lose the scientific approach from the communist party the crisis deepens. Every revolution has it tough, you don't jump off the revolution when it's going through a tough [time] and say we will join again when [it is] in a peak.

"Ideas are required when you are going through a lowest point."

Justice Eric Leach delivered the much-anticipated ruling on Friday, dismissing the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Zuma's appeal against a 2016 decision by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that found the NPA's decision to drop the corruption charges against Zuma - that related to fraud, racketeering and money laundering - was irrational.

In 2008, High Court Judge Chris Nicholson dismissed the criminal charges against Zuma, citing a political conspiracy to influence the case by former president Thabo Mbeki and others.

Initial charges

Nicholson's decision was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and overturned.

Zuma subsequently appealed this in the Constitutional Court, setting in motion a direct approach to the NPA to make written and oral representations on why the case should be dropped.

On April 6, 2009, former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe said recordings of telephone conversations between then-Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA boss Bulelani Ngcuka, showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

The two were recorded discussing the timing of bringing charges against Zuma. The charges related to his alleged involvement in the country's multi-billion rand arms deal.

The 18 charges were subsequently withdrawn in 2009, just before Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president.

The Democratic Alliance has been fighting to have the charges reinstated.

In 2016, a full bench of judges overturned the NPA's decision to drop the corruption charges.

Both the NPA and Zuma turned to the SCA after the High Court denied them direct access for an appeal.

But last month Zuma and the NPA made an about-turn and conceded that Mpshe's decision not to prosecute Zuma was irrational.

Advocate Kemp J Kemp, SC, for Zuma, told the full bench of justices that he believed that the NPA had erred in their decision.

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