UDF veterans demand that NPA reinstates 783 charges against Zuma

2017-08-07 17:14
UDF veterans handed a letter to the NPA demanding that the 783 charges against President Zuma be reinstated. (Jenni Evans, News24)

UDF veterans handed a letter to the NPA demanding that the 783 charges against President Zuma be reinstated. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams must drop the appeal against the reinstatement of 783 fraud and corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma, and resume the case against him immediately, a group of United Democratic Front (UDF) veterans demanded on Monday.

It must also start prosecuting the local and international board chiefs, government officials and civilians allegedly implicated in bribery and corruption in South Africa.

The call was made in a letter the veterans wrote to Abrahams and delivered to his Western Cape prosecutions director Rodney de Kock in Cape Town on Monday.

"We demand that you immediately prosecute Jacob Zuma and withdraw your appeal," read the letter signed by 50 veterans of the UDF anti-apartheid movement, and read to De Kock by one of the signatories, Madoda Cuphe.

The letter was a precursor to the greater anti-Zuma march to Parliament on Monday, and comes a day before the vote on a proposed motion of no confidence in Zuma.

Parliament's suspended head of Protection Services Zelda Holtzman and activist Zackie Achmat were among those delivering the letter.

Demand for prosecutions

Stepping away from a meeting to accept the letter for Abrahams, De Kock joined them in the NPA's boardroom as they made their demands.

"Since the reports of the Public Protector, [SA Council of Churches] and the academics, combined with a range of judgments in the High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court on matters ranging from the SABC, [Passenger Rail Agency of SA], Eskom, Cash Paymaster Services, Transnet, Water Affairs Ministry, [SA Revenue Services], among others, the MPS has been glaringly absent. All these have been substantially cemented by the #GuptaLeaks, which makes your silence complicit," read Cuphe.

(Jenni Evans, News24)

They also want immediate seizures by the Asset Forfeiture Unit in the numerous corruption cases that have been reported to the police.

Private companies have not been let off the hook.

Companies named in the letter include Tegeta, McKinsey, Trillian, MultiChoice and Swifambo.

"As we are unaware of any such charges or court dates, we further demand that you urgently proceed with prosecuting all government ministers, officials, board members and civilians involved in bribery, corruption or other related criminal activity ..."

Abrahams was given until August 14 to respond.

"Let him come to us," the group told De Kock.

De Kock complained about being the "post office" for Abrahams, who is based in Gauteng, but agreed he would send the letter on to him.

NPA decision irrational

The activists left almost as quickly as they had arrived to go and prepare for the #UniteBehind march.

The fraud and corruption charges that Zuma had faced were withdrawn close to the time he was sworn in as president as 2009.

At the time, then-National Director of Public Prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe said he was forced to withdraw the charges because there had been evidence of possible political meddling in the investigation.

The full bench of the North Gauteng High Court ruled in April 2016 that the decision to discontinue the prosecution against the president should be reviewed and set aside because Mpshe's decision had been irrational.

Zuma and the NPA are appealing that court's ruling that the 783 outstanding charges against him for alleged corruption must be reinstated.

It is expected to be heard on September 15.

Read more on:    npa  |  udf  |  jacob zuma  |  shaun abrahams  |  corruption  |  fraud

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