DA to ask Shaun Abrahams to insist Jacob Zuma face almost 800 counts of fraud
The DA will write to National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDDP) advocate Shaun Abrahams to insist that President Jacob Zuma be served with an indictment, and that he appear in court on the 783 counts of corruption, fraud and racketeering.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane made the statement during a briefing to the media in Pretoria, after the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) dismissed Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) appeal bid with costs.
Zuma had appealed against the judgment of a full bench of the High Court in Pretoria, which found that then NDPP Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision to drop the charges against Zuma, was irrational.
However‚ during arguments at the SCA in September, Zuma conceded that the decision to withdraw the charges was irrational‚ as the high court had ruled. Zuma wanted the opportunity to make fresh representations before the NPA decided to recharge him.
Maimane said it was now straightforward that the charges stood and that a court of law must hear the matter. The DA has fought the case for more than eight years.
The party estimated that Zuma’s “delaying tactics in the courts to date have cost the taxpayers upwards of R30m”.
Maimane said Abrahams must commit to reinstating all 783 counts, and “furnish the people of SA with a date by which these charges will be processed. Advocate Abrahams must give us a response within 10 days. The charges have been formulated and the evidence is ready. We now await a trial date.”
Maimane said he suspected that Zuma would want to make new representations about why charges should be dropped, but that this was unnecessary, as he made written and oral representations on why exactly the same charges ought to be dropped back in 2009, and these representations were rejected.
Other opposition politicians also reacted to the SCA ruling by calling on the NPA must charge Zuma and for him to step down.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party welcomed the judgment.
“The best way to restore the integrity of the NPA is to proceed and charge Zuma who must, in turn, step down from the highest office in the land.
“Zuma's continued occupation of office undermines the ability to uphold the rule of law. Not only has he broken the constitution, he has done everything in his power to avoid facing corruption charges,” Ndlozi said.
He said Zuma was “the greatest living threat to democracy and respect for the rule of law. He must step down and face the full might of the law.”
On the other hand, the ANC said it was studying the judgment. “The ANC has full confidence in our judiciary and the options it offers to all aggrieved parties. Accordingly‚ the ANC will study the judgment and await further decisions from the affected parties before making a comprehensive statement on this matter‚” the party said in a statement.
ANC veteran Zola Skweyiya said in an interview with eNCA on the sidelines of a veterans conference on Friday that if the party had the interest of the people‚ it would ask if it wanted someone like Zuma to lead it.
“There is no way in which we can run away from the realities.We must ask ourselves, can we go into an election with such a the person leading the organisation?”
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said in a statement that Zuma must resign. He also had advice for the ANC and MPs. “President Zuma just must man up and face the music.
“The ANC‚ which eight years ago set up a team (led by the current Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu) to persuade NPA boss Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw the charges‚ must take responsibility of the constitutional crisis it has created. The ANC must not just only take note of the judgment‚ it must withdraw its irredeemable deployee.
“Parliament should, in fact, appoint three retired judges to comb through the charges and advise the NPA,” he said.
The Congress of the People (COPE) said the NPA should institute charges against Zuma.
“Now that the SCA has provided the legal clarity on the spurious dropping of charges by the NPA‚ we expect it to institute the charges forthwith‚” the party said in a statement.
“There can be no further prevarication or obfuscation about the way forward. The ball is now in the hands of Shaun Abrahams and his NPA‚” COPE said.
“COPE will closely monitor the conduct of the NPA to ensure that it executes its mandate without fear or favour. We will continue to mobilise all South Africans to jealously guard their constitutional democracy.”