Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane will be emboldened by confirmation that the Hawks are investigating corruption charges against Jacob Zuma when he faces the president in Parliament on Wednesday.
Maimane said on Tuesday that a notification about the case he opened against Zuma relating to his role in state capture came at the weekend from the head of the Serious Commercial Crimes Unit.
He said that these charges were in addition to the 783 charges of corruption which must be reinstituted as per the Supreme Court of Appeal‚ as well as the Nkandla corruption charges he laid in March 2014.
“I will be seeking clarity from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as to the status of these charges‚” Maimane said.
The 783 corruption charges led to a political mudslinging match on Tuesday during Parliament’s annual debate on the 16 days of activism campaign.
The DA’s Denise Robinson was ordered to withdraw a reference to Zuma as “JZ783”‚ but refused‚ saying the phrase was not derogatory‚ and was ordered by Speaker Baleka Mbete to leave the podium and the house.
Party chief whip John Steenhuisen attempted to defend her‚ but the party walked out. By the end of the sitting‚ the phrase #JZ783 was trending on Twitter.
Zuma is set‚ as he completes his cycle of questions in Parliament for 2016 on Wednesday‚ to answer the DA leader’s question relating to former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report.
Maimane wants to know if Zuma “and/or his legal team instructed” Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen “to lodge applications to interdict the release of the public protector’s report…due to the specified persons’ alleged relationships with the Gupta family”.
Earlier this month‚ Van Rooyen and Zwane withdrew their high court applications to prevent the report being made public‚ as did Zuma‚ after four opposition parties challenged their bids.
Zuma is likely to dodge the question‚ as he did in a Parliament sitting earlier this month‚ by saying he can’t respond as it pertains to a matter that was before the courts.
Maimane on Tuesday told a public meeting at Ngqurha in Nelson Mandela Bay that he would be meeting with the head of the Serious Commercial Crimes Unit “within the next few days – on his request — as the investigation begins”.
“This means we are another step closer to seeing Jacob Zuma face the consequences of his corruption‚” he said.
“Corruption is the enemy which steals opportunity from our people. It steals jobs‚ healthcare‚ basic services‚ and the change of a better life.
“Yet‚ we have a president who believes that corruption is a ‘Western paradigm’ crime where there are ‘no victims’. He could not be more wrong.”