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South Africa Presidency reports Zuma not facing any charges

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s Presidency has rejected a "misleading and opportunistic" statement issued by a political party urging President Jacob Zuma to answer to some charges before court.

The statement came after the Congress of the People (COPE) accused Zuma of manipulating the criminal justice system to avoid prosecution.

COPE said Zuma must answer all of the 700 charges he has tried to wriggle out of through abuse of power and the willing collusion with the whole of the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (SACP).

COPE made the accusation following the dismissal of AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s application for a bail extension by the Mthatha High Court.

Citing Dalindyebo’s case, COPE said it wished to remind Zuma that nobody was above the law, and called on Zuma to stop manipulating and damaging the criminal justice system in order to avoid having his day in court.

The Presidency, however, dismissed COPE’s allegations, saying they were a "complete lie and a serious fabrication".

"Saying the president must answer to some non-existent charges before court in light of the King Dalindyebo matter is opportunistic and mischievous," said the statement.

Dalindyebo began his 12-year imprisonment Wednesday on charges of arson, assault, and kidnapping in relation to the treatment of some of his subjects.

Dalindyebo,who was found guilty in 2009, has been AbaThembu king since 1989.

The AbaThembu are one of the handful of nations and population groups which speak Xhosa in South Africa. The land in which they live is historically known as Thembuland.


Final report on South Africa controversial arms deal submitted

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday received the final report on a controversial arms deal that has haunted South Africa’s politics and Zuma himself for years.

The report was submitted in Durban by Judge Willie Seriti who heads the Commission of Inquiry into the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages (SDPP), commonly known as the Arms Deal Commission, the presidency said in a statement.

The commission completed its public hearings and other processes in June, and completed the report writing phase in December.

It then submitted the report to the president a day before the deadline, said the statement.

Zuma expressed his gratitude to Seriti and all members of the commission for the work done in ensuring the successful conclusion of the work.

The commission was established by Zuma in September 2011 to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the arms procurement process.

The commission is investigating the multi-billion-rand arms deal of the late 1990s, when Thabo Mbeki was deputy president and later president.

The arms deal, initially estimated to cost 43 million rands, or about 2.83 million U. S. dollars, is believed to have escalated to billions of dollars to buy military equipment from Europe.

It is estimated that up to about 72 million dollars in bribes was paid.

Although several officials have been convicted for allegedly taking bribes to help land contracts, there have been calls to hunt some others off the hook.

Those convicted included Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who had a tender to supply part of the arms requirements.

Shaik allegedly was found to have facilitated a bribe for Zuma who was then the Deputy President from a French arms company, which was part of the deal.

Zuma has denied connection with corruption in the deal.




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