Back in 2003, former ANC president, Thabo Mbeki offered Jacob Zuma millions in return for him resigning following an announcement by former NPA head, Bulelani Ngcuka that there was a Prima Facie case against Zuma.
This was revealed in papers filed by Zuma’s lawyer, Micheal Hulley last week which were published by the Mail & Guardian.
“It is correct that Mbeki asked Zuma to resign prior to the Ngcuka announcement in 2003,” Hulley said in the documents.
“This was a request purportedly based on a huge case [volumes of data] against him [Zuma]. If Zuma left quietly, he would not be prosecuted and he would be well looked after financially [a R20m amount was mooted].”
Hulley said Zuma, however, refused to resign and informed Mbeki and the former minister of justice, Penuell Maduna, that his understanding was that there was no case against him.
“I simply point out that Mbeki again asked Zuma to resign in June 2005. He again refused and Mbeki dismissed him in Parliament stating Zuma is to still have his day in court,” Hulley added.
The papers which were filed at the High Court in Pretoria and are Zuma’s response to the DA call to have the arms deal corruption charges against him reinstated.
The DA brought the application to have the case reviewed after it was handed the he so-called “spy tapes” case in 2014.
Hulley said the DA’s application as “defective and meritless”.
The opposition party contends that Mokotedi Mpshe’s April 2009 decision should be set aside because of the tapes which contain recorded phone conversations, justify proceeding with a review application of the decision to drop the charges against Zuma.
The tapes allegedly reveal collusion between the former head of the directorate of special operations – the now defunct Scorpions – Leonard McCarthy and Ngcuka, to manipulate the prosecution of Zuma before the ANC’s Polokwane conference in 2007.
The charges related to Zuma’s allegedly receiving a bribe from French arms company Thales via his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who was jailed for corruption. He was released on medical parole in 2009.
Mpshe claimed at the time that the tapes revealed a political conspiracy against Zuma, and so the case could not continue.
Hulley said the case that the DA was attempting to pursue was fatally and deeply flawed.
“The first fundamental flaw is that it is nowhere stated by the NDPP that he relied solely on the contents of the tapes. Indeed, that is not what the public announcement [April 6 2009] says,” Hulley said in the 166 page document.
“It records that the Mpshe decision  was premised on the Zuma representations which made serious allegations about the prosecution’s conduct of the case. This much also appears from the NPA’s decision and its answer.
“Thus reference is particularly made to the NPA’s answer which touches on issues such as press leakages, the browse mole operation, and the November/December abuse of process and related delay issues.”
Zuma was elected ANC president at the Polokwane conference in 2007. Mbeki had been a contender for a second term and the contest for the top position caused rifts in the party. The Scorpions were also subsequently disbanded.
The corruption charges were dropped shortly before Zuma was sworn in as president in 2009.
The DA, however, contends Mpshe could not have rationally concluded that McCarthy manipulated the timing of the service of the indictment to suit Mbeki, since the evidence indicates that Mpshe made the decision to delay the service of the indictment himself. The party says McCarthy played no material role.