(AFP) – Sep 23, 2008
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) — South Africa's Thabo Mbeki has filed papers challenging aspects of a court ruling he says damaged his reputation and cost him his job as president, according to court papers seen by AFP.
Mbeki, whose resignation is due to take effect on Thursday, is appealing to the Constitutional Court arguing that a "vexatious, scandalous and prejudicial" Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling infringed his constitutional rights.
Mukoni Ratshitanga, spokesman for the president, confirmed that Mbeki had filed the court application.
In his September 12 ruling, judge Chris Nicholson, dismissed a corruption case against Mbeki's political rival Jacob Zuma, hinting that Mbeki had interfered in the decision to prosecute his foe.
Nicholson's suggestion that Zuma's complaints that he was the victim of a conspiracy had some merit sparked the beginning of the end of Mbeki: on Saturday, the African National Congress asked him to step down.
Mbeki, 66, who succeeded Nelson Mandela as president in June 1999, becomes the country's first democratically elected president to be forced out of office before the end of his term.
"It is unfair and unjust for me to be judged and condemned on the basis of the findings in the Zuma matter," said Mbeki in his application.
"The interests of justice, in my respectful submission would demand that the matter be rectified," he added.
"These adverse findings have led to my being recalled by my political party, the ANC -- a request I have acceded to as a committed and loyal member of the ANC for the past 52 years," Mbeki said.
"I fear that if not rectified, I might suffer further prejudice," he added.
The papers have also been served on Zuma's lawyers and the acting chief of the prosecution.
Mbeki claims that Nicholson's findings against him damaged his good reputation and cost him his job or most importantly a chance for him to put his side of the story to the general public.
Mbeki is disputing findings that he had unfairly decided to axe Zuma and that there was "political struggle or rivalry" between himself and Zuma that impacted on the judges' ruling on Zuma application.
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