National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams has announced the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute former President Jacob Zuma on charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud.
“After considering the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment served to him prior to the termination of the matter by former acting national director of prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe,” Abrahams said.
Addressing a media briefing on Friday, he said that a trial court would be the most appropriate forum for these charges to be ventilated and to be decided upon.
“Justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done. I am mindful that everyone is equal before the law and enjoys the rights to equal protection and benefit of the law,” he said.
According to Abrahams, the former President was indicted on 28 December 2007 on charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud. On 10 February 2009 former President Zuma’s lawyers submitted written representation to Mpshe.
“On 6 April 2009 Mpshe announced his decision to terminate the prosecution of Zuma and the very next day the NPA withdrew the charges against Zuma in the Durban High Court.
“Mpshe’s decision of 6 April 2009 was taken on review. On 13 October 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal declared Mpshe’s decision to terminate the prosecution of Zuma as irrational,” Abrahams said.
Earlier this year, former President Zuma submitted representations to Abrahams in respect of the indictment.
Following the submission of his representation, Abrahams appointed an experienced prosecution team to peruse the evidence and advise him on former President Zuma’s representations.
“Zuma’s representations, broadly speaking, largely relate to allegations of a prosecution characterised by prosecutorial manipulation in propriety, fair trial abuses, prosecutorial misconduct, deliberate leaking of information to the media and irrational decisions made by various national directors and/or acting national directors of public prosecutions along with inexplicable delays for approximately 15 years in bringing his matter to trial,” he said.
Abrahams said the former President disputes all allegations against him.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal will facilitate the necessary processes for Zuma and his co-accused to appear in court,” he said.
Additionally, Abrahams has instructed the state attorney to brief senior counsel to oppose an application for a permanent stay of the prosecution of former President Zuma which was recently filed in the Cape High Court by a non-profit organisation.