First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

‘Zuma camp’ obtained Shaun Abrahams letter unlawful...

Newsdeck

Zuma Charges

‘Zuma camp’ obtained Shaun Abrahams letter unlawfully – court hears

May 24, 2019. Former president Jacob Zuma in Pietermaritzburg High Court. Zuma is facing charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
By News24
24 May 2019 0

An explosive letter from former prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams to former Hawks boss Yolisa Matakata, which former president Jacob Zuma's lawyers have asked KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg to consider, was obtained unlawfully.

This is according to advocate Wim Trengove, SC, who is representing the State in an application Zuma has lodged to have fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering charges related to the arms deal permanently set aside.

A full Bench of the court heard the matter this week. Zuma’s co-accused, French company Thales, also applied for a stay of prosecution. Judgment was reserved and the date for the handing down of the judgment is not clear.

News24 understands that judgment will be delivered about three months from now.

Bombshell

It was, however, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, who represents Zuma, who dropped a bombshell on Thursday – five minutes before the end of the proceedings – when he attempted to introduce a mysterious document as new evidence. The letter relates to allegations that there was political meddling in the Zuma matter, which started in 2003.

In the March 2018 letter, Abrahams asked the Hawks to investigate parts of an affidavit by former Thales lawyer Ajay Sooklal. The allegations in the Sooklal affidavit reveal allegations that Thales allegedly paid a €1m bribe to the ANC and a €50m bribe to former justice minister Penuell Maduna for their assistance in having the charges against Thint – a former Thales subsidiary – withdrawn in 2003.

The details of Sooklal’s affidavit first came to light last year, according to News24.

Trengove argued that the letter was completely irrelevant to the Zuma case because it dealt with allegations surrounding the withdrawal of charges against Thint/Thales. He further told the court the letter must have been obtained unlawfully, as it was part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the NPA.

Political interference

Advocate Anton Katz, SC, confirmed to the court that his client, Thales, had to date not been informed of any investigation relating to these charges

Sikhakhane concluded his submissions over the letter by asking the court to consider its context.

He argued that the letter showed that political interference did indeed occur in the Zuma matter, despite the State’s contention that it did not.

Trengove had also previously pointed out to the court the Supreme Court of Appeal’s previous ruling that the motivation behind a prosecution did not matter.

The court will now decide whether to allow the letter to be admitted as evidence or to reject it. DM

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted