Former president Jacob Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of his corruption prosecution is a life-or-death battle for him — either he walks free, or he faces a long, costly trial and a possible 25-year prison sentence. But the case also arguably exposes how the stance of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has wavered over the past two decades in sync with Zuma’s political fortunes. After insisting for a decade that Zuma’s prosecution was deeply compromised by political interference — and withholding the crucial evidence needed to challenge the decision to drop the case against him — the NPA is now condemning the plot claims it once championed, calling them "conspiracy theories".

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