Burning questions: Shaun Abrahams and Jacob Zuma
Burning questions: Shaun Abrahams and Jacob Zuma

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams has received the recommendation of the prosecuting team that considered whether former president Jacob Zuma should be charged with corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said Abrahams would now "apply his mind".

"The team will some time next week come and brief him with his deputies and then, after that process is finalised, he will be in a position [to announce his decision]," Mfaku said.

Zuma made fresh representations to the NPA on January 31. The DA has made representations on why he should face the charges.

The charges against Zuma were withdrawn in 2009, but in 2016 the High Court in Pretoria found that this decision was irrational. This ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2017.

The NPA has given the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) the assurance that Abrahams will give it two weeks’ notice before he makes any announcement on Zuma’s possible prosecution. If Abrahams decides that Zuma should not face the charges, Casac is set to interdict the decision.

The organisation has also asked Abrahams to give an undertaking to the Constitutional Court that he will not make a decision on prosecution of Zuma before the court has ruled on a confirmation application before it.

This is in relation to Abrahams’s appointment, which the High Court in Pretoria reviewed and set aside in December 2017.

The NPA, Abrahams, Zuma and former national director of public prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana were appealing against the high court judgment. However, on Friday President Cyril Ramaphosa withdrew the appeal lodged by Zuma.

The state attorney indicated that if Zuma would like to argue on matters affecting him personally "he may do so through his legal representatives". This means costs would come out of Zuma’s pocket.

The Constitutional Court will on Wednesday hear the confirmation application, with both Nxasana and Abrahams resolute they should hold office as NPA boss. Corruption Watch and Freedom Under Law, which brought the application together with Casac, argued that Nxasana should be reinstated; Casac argued that neither Abrahams nor Nxasana should hold office.

The DA has called on Ramaphosa to immediately remove Abrahams as national director of public prosecutions. 

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