Saftu slams Abrahams' extension of Zuma's deadline for representations on charges

2017-12-11 22:19
Shaun Abrahams. (Netwerk24)

Shaun Abrahams. (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) on Monday slammed the decision of the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams to extend President Jacob Zuma's deadline to submit his new representations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

"We are not aware of any case where someone facing 783 [counts] of corruption, fraud, money laundering and racketeering has been given three months to make representations. We challenge Advocate Abrahams to produce a list of other suspected criminals who have been given a chance to make such representations," Saftu acting spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement on Monday.

READ: Shaun Abrahams extends Zuma's deadline for representations on corruption charges to end of January

"All this decision is doing is to confirm that we have moved away from the Freedom Charter and the Constitution that emphatically state that all shall be equal before the law."

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku on Monday told News24 that the president's legal representatives had written to Abrahams, requesting an extension until February 19, which Abrahams had refused.

He gave them until January 31, saying any further requests for extensions "won't be entertained".

'Lame excuses'

Mfaku said Abrahams had considered a number of factors, including the fact that the prosecution team was still evaluating evidential material.

"More worryingly, Abrahams' very appointment has been reversed by a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court. That case again represented a defeat of President Zuma's zeal to domesticate state institutions as he packs all of them with his yes-men and women as part of the elaborate plan to frustrate justice," Craven said.

READ: Shaun Abrahams fights to keep his job - NPA confirms

Saftu also condemned the "lame excuses" given by Abrahams, which "imply either a complete failure on his part to appreciate the seriousness and urgency of the matter before the court, or, more likely, a political ruse to protect his political ally".

"His reasons include that his lawyers were unavailable until mid-December due to 'prior litigation commitments'; the case is 'complex and voluminous'; there have been developments in the case since Zuma first made representations eight years ago and his team needs time to review these developments as they make representations; and Zuma would be unavailable for consultation until after December 20.

'Political motive at play'

"That last excuse is probably the real reason for the extension. 20 December is the closing day of the ANC's elective conference, which strongly suggests that Abrahams has a political motive – to avoid embarrassing Zuma at this important event, the outcome of which could determine his political and personal future."

The NPA had initially given Zuma until November 30 to make his representations, after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed his and the NPA's application to appeal a high court ruling that the 2009 decision to drop corruption charges against him was irrational.

"Saftu demands that the SCA rejects this extension and charges Abrahams with defeating the ends of justice or contempt of court for defying its clear ruling. He must also account for his failure to prosecute any of the others against whom there is now clear prima facie evidence of corruption, fraud, money laundering and other financial offences.

"While everyone, including Zuma, has the right to a fair trial, this must not mean that he can keep indefinitely postponing his day in court, through appeals and extensions. It is in the interest of the administration of justice and fairness to bring to court Zuma, and all those others whose corrupt activities have thrown the country into such an economic and political abyss, as soon as possible."

Read more on:    saftu  |  npa  |  shaun abrahams  |  jacob zuma  |  corruption  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.