Don't pressure NPA on Zuma charges decision - Cabinet

2016-05-12 14:31
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(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

Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should not be pressured over whether corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma should be resurrected, Cabinet has said.

"Cabinet noted the judgment handed down by the North Gauteng High Court to set aside the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions," Acting Minister in the Presidency Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said at a post-Cabinet meeting briefing on Thursday.

"Cabinet highlights that the court did not deal with the merits of any allegations President Zuma nor did it make any finding declaring guilt on any matter against him.

"Cabinet calls on society to allow the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to independently dispense with its constitutional obligations in terms of section 179 (5) of the Constitution without any undue pressure from any quarter."

This section of the Constitution sets out what the country's prosecuting authority’s role is and how it functions together with other departments and Parliament.

The statement follows the judgment on April 29 in which the High Court in Pretoria ruled that former NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe’s decision in April 2009 to drop corruption charges against Zuma was irrational and should be set aside.

The opposition Democratic Alliance brought the case and as a result wanted the 783 charges of corruption, that Zuma had faced, to be reinstated.

The charges related to Zuma’s alleged involvement the multi-billion-rand arms deal.

His former financial advisor, Schabir Schaik, was found guilty of fraud and corruption by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in June 2005. He tried to solicit a bribe for Zuma from a French arms company involved in the deal.

Mpshe explained at the time that they had to drop the charges after Zuma's lawyers brought the NPA recorded conversations between then-Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy and former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka which suggested there might be political interference in the case.

The recordings were part of representations to the NPA by Zuma's lawyers.

When the charges were dropped, Zuma was free to go into the first term of his presidency with a clean slate. 

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