Jacob Zuma has told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that he is ‘not guilty’ of a whopping 18 criminal charges filed against him – after the details of his rap sheet were made public on Wednesday. It’s understood that Zuma received bribes from Schabir Shaik, from 1995 to 2005. In total, those illicit benefits amounted to almost R5 million.
Watch: Jacob Zuma pleads not guilty in court
The judge clarified with Jacob Zuma that all was understood on his side, given the magnitude of the counts filed against him. The 79-year-old agreed, and after a slight delay, he comprehensively entered his plea of ‘not guilty’. It’s perhaps a good time to save this moment in history – because we WILL be revisiting it…
Breaking news President Zuma plead not guilty to all charges before him and the court brought by NPA #ZumaArmsDealTrial #Zuma #Pietermaritzburghighcourt #Zumapleadsnotguilty @MYANC pic.twitter.com/KmgwujP5Nt
— Cameron Mpho (@Cameronmomoo) May 26, 2021
A total of 18 counts filed against JZ
So, what exactly is uBaba denying? A LOT: The ex-president is accused of everything from money laundering to tax fraud. He’s believed to have been on an annual retainer to lobby in favour of the arms group Thales, and these supposedly dodgy dealings were all facilitated through Schabir Shaik. The charge sheet for Jacob Zuma reads:
- – COUNT 1: Racketeering committed by Jacob Zuma and Thales.
- – COUNT 2: The state alleges former president Jacob Zuma is guilty of corruption. There are 782 payments from Schabir Shaik to Zuma, which are all under investigation.
- – COUNT 3: Addition corruption charges, related to alleged payments from French arms company, Thales.
- – COUNTS 4 and 5: Zuma is alleged to have received annual benefits to protect Schabir Shaik and Thompson CSF (Thales). The annual benefit was R500 000.
- – COUNT 6: Money laundering committed by Jacob Zuma and Thales.
- – COUNT 7: A separate charge of fraud against Jacob Zuma.
- – COUNT 8: A failure to declare ‘financial sponsorships’ to Parliament, on behalf of Mr. Zuma.
- – COUNT 9: Zuma is accused of lying to Parliament, regarding his relationship with Schabir Shaik.
- – COUNTS 10 to 18: Fraud charges against the former president – including attempts to defraud institutions such as SARS, and several violations of the Income Tax Act.