Zuma to face 18 charges

2018-02-25 06:01
Jacob Zuma - now just another SA citizen with pressing legal problems. (Walso Swiegers, Bloomberg)

Jacob Zuma - now just another SA citizen with pressing legal problems. (Walso Swiegers, Bloomberg)

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

Prosecutors analysing former president Jacob Zuma’s representations to avoid his day in court have recommended that all charges against him be reinstated.

City Press has reliably learnt that a team of five senior prosecutors unanimously recommended on Friday that Zuma face all charges that were previously withdrawn against him.

They are believed to have signed a memorandum which was handed to National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams on Friday, informing him of their recommendations.

Zuma is expected to face 18 charges of corruption, money laundering and racketeering, originating from 783 questionable payments he received.

This could be the first of several legal battles faced by Zuma who was recently forced by the ANC to resign. He is expected to be the central focus of an upcoming commission of inquiry into state capture.

Since Wednesday the team of prosecutors has been working around the clock, putting together an indictment detailing the charges that Zuma and his co-accused will finally face after years of protracted legal wrangling.

Sources within the security cluster said although there were several disagreements and squabbles over who should remain part of the team that would prosecute Zuma, they all agreed he failed to make a compelling argument to have his charges dropped.

“There is no turning back. Zuma has to have his day in court. I cannot imagine Abrahams ignoring the recommendations of five prosecutors he appointed to guide him with this decision,” said an NPA insider.

“In fact, KwaZulu-Natal prosecutions boss Moipone Noko insisted in December that Zuma should have appeared in court 14 days after the court ruled the decision to drop the charges was irrational.

“She [Noko] was overruled by her boss Shaun Abrahams who wanted to give Zuma another chance to make representations,” said a prosecutor privy to the details.

Noko could not be reached for comment.

Sources said Zuma and other parties involved in the matter will be informed first, after which a public announcement will be made of the decision.

Security cluster sources told City Press that Zuma will be joined by two co-accused, including representatives of Thint holdings (Southern Africa) Pty Ltd and Thint (Pty) Ltd, from whom he allegedly received bribes.

Zuma’s first court appearance and a trial date have yet to be determined.

City Press has learnt that Zuma will be accused number one in the case, followed by the companies, when he appears before the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

His co-accused will each face one count of racketeering, two counts of corruption and one of money laundering for allegedly paying the former president bribes in return for protection from investigations into contracts relating to the multimillion-rand arms deal.

City Press reported three weeks ago that Thint – now Thales – was approached by lead arms deal investigator Colonel Johan du Plooy who informed Thales’ South African chief executive Bijou Kanje that the company in Midrand had to nominate someone to join Zuma in the dock.

Sources said Zuma’s voluminous submissions had failed to convince prosecutors that the charges should be withdrawn.

“There was nothing new in the representations but just a repeat of what he has already said before.

“It looks as if he will cry foul about the NPA being used to fight political battles,” said a source familiar with the representations.

The official said: “The summary of his representations was that he was innocent and he questioned the timing of the charges saying the NPA failed to prosecute him a long time ago.”

City Press has learnt that the prosecution team will be led by Noko and advocates Lungi Mahlati SC, Billy Downer SC (who was his original prosecutor), Raymond Mathenjwa and Alnicia Coetzee.

Hawks head Yolisa Matakata told City Press this week that all evidence for the case remained intact and had been handed to the NPA.

“We have located witnesses and have done our part,” she said.

However, Abrahams must still attend to his own case after the Pretoria High Court declared his post vacant in December. The court found that he sided with Zuma and showed bias.

The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution requested that Abrahams make an undertaking to the Constitutional Court that he would not take a decision regarding Zuma’s future before the court ruled on the position Abrahams occupied after former prosecutions head Mxolisi Nxasana left office.

The Constitutional Court is set to hear the confirmation application on Wednesday. Until then, Abrahams may not decide Zuma’s fate.

The original case against Zuma was withdrawn in April 2009 before he became president.

The state intends calling at least 218 witnesses.

In October last year the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) set aside the decision by former prosecutions boss Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw Zuma’s case, calling it “irrational”.

Although the ruling automatically reinstated the charges against Zuma, Abrahams allowed Zuma one last chance to explain why he should not be charged again.

Read more on:    npa  |  jacob zuma  |  shaun abrahams

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

Hawks’ new hope

2018-05-27 00:00

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

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.