DA challenges NPA boss to prove he is not Zuma's 'lackey'

2016-05-04 05:56
Shaun Abrahams (Jenni Evans, News24)

Shaun Abrahams (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Timing is everything when it comes to Zuma's corruption charges

2016-04-30 13:33

News24 editor Adriaan Basson says it's all about timing when it comes to the charges of corruption against President Jacob Zuma which the NPA dropped in 2009.WATCH

Durban – DA leader Mmusi Maimane has challenged National Prosecuting Authority boss, Shaun Abrahams, to prove that he is not President Jacob Zuma’s "lackey" by following through with the prosecution against Zuma.

“Shaun Abrahams must prove that he is not a lackey or an appointee of [President] Jacob Zuma… He must prove that he is here to serve the people.

“He must operate in the confines of the law and make sure he is not a law unto himself... we have shown that we can take on the president, we will equally make sure that he is held accountable to the standards and that he continues with this prosecution against Jacob Zuma,” said Maimane.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a post-manifesto tour of KwaZulu-Natal where he encouraged people to vote in the local government elections on August 3. 

'Accused number one'

Maimane told the media on Tuesday that he would be going to Parliament to tell Zuma that he was “accused number one".

“Tomorrow I am going to Parliament to tell Jacob Zuma that he is accused number one. That is why we fought in court on Friday, to say 'Jacob Zuma you are stealing from the people, stolen the future of our people and we can see it and we will take you down Jacob Zuma'.”

He said no one was above the law, including Zuma.

“All of us need a National Prosecuting Authority that will prosecute without favour or prejudice, that is the oath of office that the national director of public prosecutions takes and so he/she cannot be influenced politically.

“Those 700 charges must stand against Jacob Zuma. He must have his day in court.”

Maimane said if Abrahams did not apply his mind to the case, the party would take the matter to court.

Responding to Maimane’s comments, NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said the NPA did not engage on political rhetoric.

Oath of office

“The national director took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, the rule of law and to prosecute without fear, favour or prejudice. No political party or NGO will dictate to him how to execute his responsibilities outlined in the NPA Act and the Constitution,” Mfaku said.

The High Court in Pretoria handed down judgment in the 'Spy Tapes' matter on Friday.

News24 reported Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba had ruled that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against Zuma should be reviewed and set aside.

The full bench of the court found Zuma should face the 783 charges of corruption originally filed against him.

It was previously reported that in September 2008, in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg, Judge Chris Nicholson dismissed criminal charges against Zuma, citing a political conspiracy to influence the case by former president Thabo Mbeki and others. Nicholson's decision was taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal and overturned.

Zuma subsequently appealed this in the Constitutional Court, setting in motion a direct approach to the NPA to make written and oral representations on why the case should be dropped.

Political interference

On April 6 2009 then-NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe reportedly said recordings of telephone conversations between then-Scorpions boss, Leonard McCarthy, and former NPA boss, Bulelani Ngcuka, showed political interference in the decision to charge Zuma.

The two were recorded discussing the timing of bringing charges against Zuma.

The charges related to his alleged involvement in the country’s multibillion-rand arms deal.

Zuma’s former financial adviser, Schabir Schaik, was found guilty of fraud and corruption by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban in June 2005, it was reported.

He reportedly tried to solicit a bribe for Zuma from a French arms company involved in the deal.

On April 7, 2009 the charges against Zuma were withdrawn in the High Court in Durban.

Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president in May that year, following general elections.

Read more on:    da  |  npa  |  mmusi maimane  |  jacob zuma  |  shaun abrahams  |  zuma spy tapes  |  politics

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