NPA still undecided on charging Zuma

2017-09-09 22:28
President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) claims that it has not abandoned processing corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, adding that it is investigating a previous decision not to prosecute the president and has reinstated some of the charges that were dropped.

This comes after a DA complaint about Zuma’s alleged complicity in the misappropriation of public funds to upgrade his residence in Nkandla.

The DA laid eight criminal charges against Zuma after the release of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report in March 2014, in which Zuma was implicated.

Madonsela had found that proper tender processes had not been followed at any stage, contrary to Treasury regulations.

The upgrade was justified by the public works department, which claimed that the project was urgent and that private work had already begun for security reasons.

Only one supplier could perform the particular service required, claimed public works.

City Press can reveal that the eight charges of corruption laid by DA leader Mmusi Maimane against Zuma in March 2014 were consolidated into five charges, but the prosecutor on the case declined to proceed with four of them.

It is not clear what happened with the fifth charge.

"No one is above the law"

Correspondence between the DA’s legal team and the NPA reveals that Advocate Malini Govender, the acting Special Director of Public Prosecutions in the NPA’s specialised commercial crimes unit (SCCU), will be reviewing the decision not to prosecute, and has reopened the case.

In an undated letter, Govender wrote the following to the lawyer representing the DA: “I previously advised [that] I am reviewing the decisions made by the prosecutor not to prosecute in four of the five matters referred to the SCCU by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation [the Hawks], which were investigated by the Special Investigating Unit.”

Govender also revealed in the letter that she had asked the Hawks to conduct further investigations.

She had also requested a further report from the prosecutor who had declined to prosecute in some of the matters.

“I will make a decision, in consultation with the relevant Directors of Public Prosecution, as envisaged in the NPA Act, once I have been provided with the additional information requested,” she said.

In a separate letter, dated August 14, NPA boss Shaun Abrahams informed Maimane’s lawyers that he had asked Sibongile Mzinyathi, the acting head of the National Prosecution Service, to establish whether there had been any breach of the prosecutions policy, and to probe the conduct of the prosecutors involved.

In another letter addressed to Maimane, Abrahams confirms that a prosecutor attached to the SCCU had declined to prosecute in four of the five matters that were referred to the unit by the Hawks.

“The investigation into the remaining matter is yet to be concluded, while the other four matters are currently under review by the head of the SCCU,” he wrote on July 17.

Abrahams also sought to qualify a statement that had been made by former police minister Nathi Nhleko in a parliamentary response earlier this year.

Nhleko had said the investigation into the case had been concluded. However, said Abrahams, the prosecutors felt that further investigations were necessary before a decision to prosecute or not could be made.

In May, the DA gave the NPA an ultimatum: prosecute Zuma or give reasons for not doing so.

This week, Maimane called on Abrahams to do his job.

“Accountability is for everyone and no one is above the law. The DA will be in the Supreme Court of Appeal on September 14 and 15 to ensure that the 783 charges of corruption against Zuma are reinstated. Abrahams must now do his job.”

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  da  |  npa

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