Zuma given deadline to defend corruption charges
21 Oct 2017, 00:50
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa on Friday gave President Jacob Zuma until November 30 to argue his case against the reinstatement of corruption charges against him.
Zuma has been advised through his lawyers that he has until November 30 this year to submit any envisaged representations to Shaun Abrahams, the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), the NPA said.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled that corruption charges against Zuma be reinstated eight years after the charges were dropped.
The SCA reaffirmed an earlier order by the High Court in Pretoria that a 2009 decision to withdraw corruption charges against Zuma was "irrational."
In April last year, the High Court in Pretoria ordered a review of the 2009 decision by the NPA to set aside hundreds of corruption charges against Zuma.
Both the president and the NPA then approached the SCA after the High Court refused their request to appeal.
The SCA said former NPA Director Mokotedi Mpshe had invoked incorrect provisions in considering Zuma's representations to the NPA for dropping the charges.
As such, the decision made to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma is invalid, the SCA said.
In 2009, Mpshe controversially withdrew 783 fraud, racketeering and corruption charges against Zuma, thus enabling Zuma to become president after the African National Congress won the general elections in that year.
Following the SCA ruling, the Presidency said Zuma would make his representations against the reinstatement of the corruption charges.
The NPA said in its Friday statement that the NDPP is of the view that in light of the judgment of the SCA, it appears that any further representations envisaged by Zuma should relate to issues not previously considered ahead of the 2009 decision to drop the charges.
An investigation team also has until the end of November to assess the availability of witnesses and any factors that may impact the feasibility of the re-enrollment of the matter, according to NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfako.