ConCourt rules Abrahams can announce Zuma decision

2018-03-14 17:35
The National Prosecuting Authority advocate Shaun Abrahams. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Rapport)

The National Prosecuting Authority advocate Shaun Abrahams. (Jaco Marais, Gallo Images, Rapport)

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Johannesburg – The Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed an application by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), which sought to delay National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shaun Abrahams's announcement on whether former president Jacob Zuma should be prosecuted.

Casac filed the urgent application last week, which sought an interdict to prevent Abrahams from making the announcement, pending a Constitutional Court ruling in the case.

The possible charges Zuma could face for the 2009 "Spy Tapes" saga include fraud, corruption and racketeering.

Zuma had to make representations on why charges should be dropped, after a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling dismissed the former president's and the NPA's applications to appeal a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku confirmed that the application was dismissed, but said Abrahams would not be making his announcement on Thursday.

"The Constitutional Court dismissed Casac's application for an urgent interdict," Mfaku said. "He's not doing it tomorrow. It will be after tomorrow, and then we will inform the parties of his decision," he said.

Mfaku said Abrahams would inform the parties before an announcement was made.

Casac's Lawson Naidoo has said it is disappointed in the Constitutional Court's decision. 

"Well, obviously we're disappointed. It was dismissed on the grounds that the case for urgency wasn't made out clearly," he said.

In its application, Casac argued that Abrahams's decision regarding the charges would be final unless and until a court sets it aside on review.

"Even if this court finds the next day that Mr Abrahams was unlawfully appointed and must be replaced, and that he should not take a decision concerning Mr Zuma's prosecution, it will be too late."

Casac previously said, if Abrahams takes a decision on the prosecution of Zuma, "there will be reasonable perception that his decision was biased".

The EFF welcomed the dismissal, saying Zuma had been asking to have his day in court and "he must be given such an opportunity at the earliest convenience".

The party called on Abrahams to "immediately make the announcement and in same breath step down as the NPA head".

"Nothing will restore confidence in the NPA and the rule of law than Zuma being charged and Abrahams stepping down. This will give the NPA a clean opportunity to rebuild its confidence lost under the Zuma years."

Read more on:    npa  |  constitutional court  |  casac  |  jacob zuma  |  shaun abrahams

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