NPA remains silent on Zuma charges
Publish date: 04 December 2017
Issue Number: 754
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
In the absence of National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams, who is reportedly overseas, the NPA continues to avoid saying whether it has received President Jacob Zuma’s representations regarding his 783 counts of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering, notes Legalbrief. The deadline for receipt of his argument that the charges should be dropped was on 30 November. The DA, which has been at the forefront of the battle to get Zuma to have his day in court, has been threatening legal action should the NPA fail to share Zuma’s representation with all interested parties. However, according to a Beeld report, DA spokesperson Portia Adams said the party became aware of the fact Abrahams was overseas late on Friday afternoon and will therefore wait for his response before deciding whether to litigate or not. Both the Presidency and the NPA have remained silent on the matter.
However, the DA continues to heap pressure on Abrahams, saying there is now nothing standing in the way of the NPA from proceeding with the case. DA leader Mmusi Maimane, addressing delegates at the party's North West Provincial Congress on Saturday, said the best gift South Africans could receive this festive season was an assurance that 2018 would be better than 2017 and that those responsible for the looting of the state are brought to book, notes a News24 report. Maimane said the deadline for Zuma to make representations to the NPA regarding had come and gone. ‘Now there can be no more delaying. The NPA has to announce the date of his first court appearance,’ he said. Maimane said like any charged criminal, Zuma would have to appear in court to have his charges formally put to him. ‘I am calling on Shaun Abrahams to schedule this initial appearance to take place before Christmas. There is no reason why this should not happen,’ he said. ‘In fact, any ordinary criminal would have had their charges presented in court before making any representations to the NPA. Why Jacob Zuma should be regarded as an extraordinary criminal still needs to be explained,’ said Maimane. Maimane pointed out that, according to Abrahams, all the evidence is still available for trial, and the witnesses would have been contacted by this week. ‘So we are good to go. Let’s have that court date then, and let’s have it within the next three weeks,’ he said. Maimane said South Africans deserved to head into the new year with some straight answers and a promise of swift justice.