NPA yet to obtain Patricia de Lille’s affidavit for Jacob Zuma corruption trial
Public works and infrastructure minister, Patricia de Lille says she is yet to file a sworn affidavit about her pending testimony in the high stakes corruption trial of former President Jacob Zuma.
De Lille who first blew the whistle on the matter 20 years ago, is one of the witnesses the state has lined up to secure a conviction against Zuma who stands accused of pocketing bribes during the multi-billion arms deal of the late 90s.
She was also one of the state witnesses who in 2005 got Durban businessman Schabir Shaik convicted to 15 years in prison for allegedly bribing Zuma to secure orders for Thales during the arms procurement.
De Lille told Independent Media on Sunday that she got a call a month ago from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) asking whether she was still willing to testify against Zuma when the trial finally gets underway.
She said her answer was in the affirmative.
“From then I have not heard from them but yes I am still available and ready to testify in the case,” she said.
De Lille added she expects Advocate Billy Downer to contact her closer to the trial and brief her about the logistical issues. She also indicated that her affidavit would likely be almost similar to the one she filed in the Schabir Shaik trial.
On the same day Independent Media spoke to De Lille, Zuma’s instructing attorney, Advocate Eric Mabuza said the case is not trial-ready as the state is yet to give them the evidence its intends to present to the court and argue for a conviction.
“(The case is) not yet (certified trial-ready),” Mabuza said.
On Tuesday, a brief sitting will take place at the Pietermaritzburg High Court to have the matter formally postponed to early December. This is meant to allow Thales to fight to force the NPA to drop the racketeering charges it preferred against it. Zuma and his legal team will not be in court.
The state had previously indicated before the same court that they would like to get the trial underway by February next year.