EFF on Zuma charges: 'The 'Eiffel Tower' in France has fallen' - AS IT HAPPENED

2018-03-16 14:45

National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams has made his much-anticipated announcement on prosecuting former president Jacob Zuma. He faces charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

News24 Editor Adriaan Basson and Opinions Editor Alet Janse van Rensburg discuss the announcement that criminal charges against former president Jacob Zuma will be reinstated.

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Last Updated at 23:20
16 Mar 21:41

READ: Original indictment in Zuma case

More than 10 years after being served with the original indictment, and later seeing the charges declared unlawful on procedural grounds, former president Jacob Zuma is to be charged after the National Prosecuting Authority said it believed it could successfully prosecute him.


16 Mar 21:40

Civil society welcomes decision to prosecute Zuma

While civil society welcomed the decision of National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams to prosecute former president Jacob Zuma, the move has done little to warm their feelings towards Abrahams.

"At last the axe has eventually fallen," Ben Theron, chief operating officer of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, said in a statement released on Friday, shortly after Abrahams made his decision public.


16 Mar 20:29

Zuma innocent until proven guilty - ANC

The African National Congress called on South Africans to allow the prosecution of former president Jacob Zuma to unfold unhindered, saying he is innocent until proven guilty.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams on Friday announced that the NPA will go ahead with the prosecution of Zuma on 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule said on Friday that the party had "noted" the decision, and called on South Africans to presume all, including Zuma, equal before the law.

"The ANC reaffirms its confidence in our country’s criminal justice system and our respect for the independence of the judiciary. We equally affirm our commitment to the constitutionally enshrined principle of equality of all before the law.

"Accordingly, we call on South Africans at large to afford the NPA space to conduct its work unhindered, we continue to assert the inalienable right of all in our country, including Comrade Jacob Zuma, to be presumed innocent until and if proven guilty."


16 Mar 19:43

The unsung heroes of the Zuma prosecution

No, it isn't National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams or Moipone Noko, the director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, who must get the credit for finally dragging former president Jacob Zuma to court. Their decision was easy - the legal horse had bolted, writes Adriaan Basson.


16 Mar 19:13

Reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution of Zuma - Shaun Abrahams

The National Prosecuting Authority says it believes it can successfully prosecute former president Jacob Zuma. Embattled NPA boss Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma will be prosecuted for one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.


16 Mar 19:13

Schabir Shaik on THOSE Zuma charges

One-time financial advisor to former president Jacob Zuma, Schabir Shaik, was tight-lipped on the National Prosecuting Authority's decision to prosecute Zuma on corruption charges. "I think the law must take its course. I have no further comment," he told News24 during a brief phone call on Friday.


16 Mar 18:00

16 Mar 17:59

Zuma will finally have his day in court

Dr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader and Dr. Corné Mulder, FF Plus spokesperson on Justice

The FF Plus welcomes the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shaun Abrahams, to reinstate the criminal charges against former President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma said that he would like to have his day in court to prove his innocence and now he finally has the opportunity to do so.

Abrahams’s decision to prosecute Zuma is the right decision, but it is regrettable that the decision was only taken now – nearly ten years later and after millions of rands of tax payers’ money was squandered. The decision is welcomed in the interest of transparency and for the sake of the South African tax payers.

The question is whether the principle of transparency and the interests of the people of South Africa, to which Abrahams referred, has not always been important. It is clear that Abrahams has now, after many years, suddenly given in to pressure and that this is just an attempt to save himself so that he can stay on in his position.

The FF Plus is still of the opinion that Abrahams is not competent nor suited for the position as National Director of Public Prosecutions and that he must be replaced with a competent candidate as soon as possible, because that would lend much more dignity and integrity to the Nation Prosecution Authority (NPA).

The FF Plus has always held that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been tainted by the allegations of corruption with the arms deal and the claims that Zuma was somehow involved in it.

This also creates the opportunity to let the people of South Africa know that if there was indeed corruption, then the guilty parties will be called to account. This will restore the image of the SANDF for the future.


16 Mar 17:48

French arms company Thales to be prosecuted along with Zuma - NPA

The NPA will also be prosecuting the local affiliate of French arms company Thales, along with former president Jacob Zuma, for its role in the arms deal saga.

"The charges have been reinstated for them as well and they will appear in court with Zuma," NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku told News24.

Thales' local affiliate would face charges of corruption and fraud, while Zuma would face charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering.

NPA boss Shaun Abrahams announced on Friday afternoon that the NPA believes it can successfully prosecute Zuma.


16 Mar 17:21

The 'Eiffel Tower' in France has fallen - EFF

"The 'Eiffel Tower' in France has fallen", Economic Freedom Fighters' general secretary Godrich Gardee said.

He was speaking in an interview with eNCA on Friday on the news by the National Prosecuting Authority that former president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted.

Zuma is accused to have accepted a R500 000-a-year bribe from Ajay Sooklal, a “fixer” for French Arms company Thales, by using the code words “Eiffel tower”.

Zuma apparently signalled his acceptance by remarking during a meeting with Alain Thetard, the then-head of Thales South African subsidiary Thint, that “I see the Eiffel Tower lights are shining today”.

Thint is one of the companies linked to the country’s arms-deal controversy.

NDPP head Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma would face prosecution on 16 charges: one count of racketeering, two of corruption, one of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

This indictment was initially served on him in 2007.


16 Mar 16:58

16 Mar 16:55

End of a despicable and sorry period - Cope no Zuma charges

by Willie Madisha - deputy president of the Congress of the People

The Congress of the People welcomes the decision of the NDPP to prosecute former President of the Republic and of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, on fraud, corruption and racketeering charges.

This brings to an end a despicable and sorry period in our post-apartheid era.

It remains unconscionable in the first instance that the ANC sought it fit to subject our Country and its people to such a discredited individual.

The damage inflicted by this corruptible and corrupted person becomes more evident and damning with each passing day.

In welcoming this decision, South Africans must take note of how various NDPP’s and the NPA itself conspired with Zuma to drop his prosecution despite the damming judgement against Shabir Shaik; how the NPA and then President Zuma conspired and adopted lawfare-like Stalingrad tactics to avoid the release the Spy Tapes upon which the decision to drop the charges was based; and how the NPA and then President Zuma conspired and abused every avenue to avoid and delay the re-instatement of the charges.

South Africans must take note how the ANC allowed Zuma to decimate and practically destroy the careers of certain NDPP’s and the independence of the NPA in abusing his office and powers to avoid his day in court.

It is a moot point that the decision to prosecute Zuma is only being made following his removal from office. It points to an NPA unable to act independently and without fear or favour.

It will take time and effort to rebuild the integrity of and South African’s trust in the NPA and indeed our criminal justice system.

Finally, regardless of today’s decision COPE remains adamant that Abrahams is unfit to hold office and must go.


16 Mar 16:52

16 Mar 16:51

16 Mar 16:51

16 Mar 16:51
Flashback: This was the final indictment against Zuma in 2007.

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16 Mar 16:44

OUTA welcomes the NPA decision to prosecute Zuma

“At last the axe has eventually fallen,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Jacob Zuma's day in court has been long overdue and, while we applaud Shaun Abrahams for eventually taking the obvious decision, we believe he is largely to blame for the unnecessary delay in getting this matter to where it is today. Nonetheless, South Africans have a very good reason to be happy our criminal justice system is working in favour of the people, reminding us and those in authority that no-one is above the law."

It appeared to many that Jacob Zuma was above the law for a very long time; however, we were always confident that, in time, the barriers that kept him out of court and possibly jail would eventually be removed. That day has now arrived.

"OUTA looks forward to an independent, robust prosecution taking place under a new National Director of Public Prosecutions. Zuma must be held accountable.

“These charges were laid before Zuma was President, thus he must pay for his defence out of his own pocket,” says Theron.

NDPP Abrahams announced that Zuma would face prosecution on 16 charges: one count of racketeering, two of corruption, one of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

This indictment was initially served on him in 2007.


16 Mar 16:41

DA welcomes Abrahams decision to prosecute Zuma

by Mmusi Maimane - Leader of the Democratic Alliance

The DA welcomes the decision by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shaun Abrahams, to proceed with the criminal trial of Jacob Zuma. This is a victory for all who have fought for years for Jacob Zuma to face accountability for his crimes. That accountability starts now.

We launched this review application in 2009, after the 783 charges were dropped illegally and unconstitutionally. It is a fight that we have been waging in the Courts for almost nine years and today’s decision is a vindication of the decision to challenge the dropping of the charges. Now there must be no further delay in starting the trial. The witnesses are ready, the evidence is strong, and Jacob Zuma must finally have his day in court.

We will brief our legal teams immediately to oppose any effort by Zuma to delay this any further, including his application for a stay of prosecution.

We will also fight to ensure the public do not have to carry the costs of Zuma's defence, as they have already done for the past 9 years.

I thank all of the legal teams who have waged this ‘lawfare’ over the years. Their effort and dedication has defeated Zuma’s endless delay tactics.

When Shabir Shaik was found guilty on charges of corruption and fraud in relation to the Arms Deal on 7 April 2005, Judge Squires' judgment made it clear that Zuma must also be charged, and that the evidence for this was “convincing and really overwhelming”.

Shaik and Zuma’s trials should never have been separated in the first place and the decision to reinstate the charges should not have been a difficult one. Zuma’s day in court is years overdue and the NPA’s prosecutions team have said that there was a strong case on the merits and the only reason charges were dropped was because of the infamous Spy Tapes.

The then NDPP made the decision to withdraw charges against Zuma because he felt that the Spy Tapes had prejudiced Zuma and had made the trial unfair toward him. The DA challenged this decision in court and this is what we have been fighting for the past nine years, which has now been vindicated.


16 Mar 16:31

FW de Klerk Foundation welcomes NPA announcement

The FW de Klerk Foundation welcomed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s announcement to charge former president Jacob Zuma.

"This brings to an end a decade of litigation over the initial NPA decision in 2009 to withdraw the charges levelled against former President Zuma," it said.

"Given the uninspiring record of the NPA in the prosecution of politically-connected individuals, there is perhaps need for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, with the overwhelming public interest and the presence of a vociferous and robust civil society and the possibility of private prosecution, it is hoped that the NPA will be true to its constitutional mandate of prosecuting without fear, favour or prejudice."

The foundation said while the successful prosecution of connected political figures will go some way towards assuaging the angst-ridden South African public, it is still not enough to fully restore confidence in the NPA.

"More than that, the NPA needs to make good on its word concerning the investigations into State Capture. Perhaps that will be the catalyst for the NPA towards reclaiming their constitutionally-appointed role as an institution that upholds justice and the Rule of Law."


16 Mar 16:30

ICYMI: ANC on charges against Zuma

The ANC reaffirms its confidence in our country’s criminal justice system and our respect for the independence of the judiciary. We equally affirm our commitment to the constitutionally enshrined principle of equality of all before the law.

Accordingly we call on South Africans at large to afford the NPA space to conduct its work unhindered, we continue to assert the inalienable right of all in our country, including Comrade Jacob Zuma, to be presumed innocent until and if proven guilty.


16 Mar 16:26

16 Mar 16:11

16 Mar 16:11

16 Mar 16:11

16 Mar 16:06

Rand steady on Zuma prosecution announcement

The rand was steady on Friday afternoon after National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams announced that the prosecution of President Jacob Zuma would go ahead.  

The rand was trading at R11.95 to the dollar at 15:25, after opening at R11.89 to the greenback.  

At 15:45, after Abrahams read a short statement, the currency was trading at R11.94/$.


16 Mar 16:03

16 Mar 16:03

16 Mar 16:03

16 Mar 15:50

Zuma faces 16 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering

National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams has made his much-anticipated announcement on prosecuting former president Jacob Zuma. He faces charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering.

The charges relate to 783 questionable payments Zuma allegedly received in connection with the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

"I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Mr Zuma," embattled NPA boss Shaun Abrahams said on Friday.

He said he notified Zuma on his decision earlier in the day.


16 Mar 15:44
The announcement has now been concluded.

16 Mar 15:43

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16 Mar 15:40
Abrahams says decision was communicated to Zuma through his lawyers

16 Mar 15:39
Abrahams says that Zuma has been informed earlier today about the decision

16 Mar 15:39
Abrahams says he has always wanted to make the announcement on the decision as soon as possible

16 Mar 15:38
Abrahams thanks the team who assisted in helping making the decision on the matter

16 Mar 15:38

16 Mar 15:37

16 Mar 15:36

16 Mar 15:36

16 Mar 15:36
Abrahams says Zuma charges are: 1 count of racketeering, 2 counts of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud

16 Mar 15:35

16 Mar 15:34

16 Mar 15:34

16 Mar 15:33

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