President Jacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS
President Jacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams will give the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) two weeks’ notice before he makes any ruling on President Jacob Zuma’s possible prosecution.

Zuma has until January 31 to make representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as to why he should not be charged for fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering after the initial 18 charges were dropped in 2009 by former acting prosecutions director Mokotedi Mpshe.

In a letter dated January 15, the state attorney wrote to Casac’s lawyer Carina du Toit that "in view of the pending matters arising from the judgment of the full court, advocate Abrahams will give your clients two weeks’ advance notice of his intention to make a decision".

A full bench in the High Court in Pretoria declared in December that Zuma was too conflicted to appoint a director as he faced the looming charges, and that the prosecutions chief should be appointed by the deputy president while Zuma was in office. The court declared the position vacant, but the order was suspended for at most 60 days, pending his or her appointment by the deputy president, whichever came sooner.

The NPA, Abrahams and Zuma have all indicated they will appeal against the judgment in which they were found to have effectively colluded to keep Zuma from being charged.

The court was also scathing on how the NPA, under Abrahams’s leadership, dealt with the appeal process against a high court judgment that found that it was irrational to drop the charges against Zuma.

The two weeks’ notice would give Casac time to seek relief before Abrahams announced his decision, said Lawson Naidoo, executive secretary of Casac.

Casac will seek an interdict when Abrahams gives notice, in which it says that if he intends to drop the charges, Casac wants to be advised so that it is able to bring an application to oppose the decision. Casac filed the confirmatory application in the apex court on an urgent basis shortly after the full bench of the high court had delivered its judgment.

The president, the NPA, Abrahams and other respondents have until Friday to indicate to the Constitutional Court if they will be opposing the confirmatory application made by Casac, Freedom Under Law and Corruption Watch, as well as to file their answering affidavits.

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